Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about community safety:
Q1. What is the role of the Community Safety Co-ordinator?
A1. The role of the Community Safety Co-ordinator is to manage the implementation of the Banbridge District Community Safety Strategy. This includes managing projects as detailed in annual action plans, securing funding and managing budgets. The Co-ordinator is also responsible for the dissemination of information on community safety throughout the District, liaising with other agencies and community organisations. The Co-ordinator is also involved in managing the Community Safety Cross-Border Network and rolling out the local Neighbourhood Watch Northern Ireland initiative across the District in partnership with the District Policing Partnership Manager and the PSNI's Community Safety Sergeant.
Q2. What are the key priorties contained within the local Community Safety Strategy?
A2. This strategy is based upon seven key priorities. They include tackling fear of crime, offences against the person and domestic violence, youths causing annoyance, anti-social behaviour, business and retail crime, domestic burglary and distraction burglary along with drugs, substance and alcohol abuse.
Q3. How were these seven key priorities identified?
A3. These seven key priorities were identified through the following research methods. A desk-top audit and community consultation exercise were carried out to include a telephone interview with 350 local residents, 8 focus groups, a town centre traders’ survey and four consultation events which were advertised for all working or living in the District to attend.
Q4. Who is responsible for funding community safety in Northern Ireland?
A4. The Community Safety Unit within the Northern Ireland Office is primarily responsible for funding many local community safety initiatives and employing a Community Safety Co-ordinator. Banbridge District Council assists in funding the Banbridge District Community Safety Partnership's running costs. The Community Safety Co-ordinator also seeks funding for projects from various sources.
Q5. Which organisations are involved in making the Banbridge District a safer place by working in partnership with the Community Safety Partnership?
A5. The Bridge Partnership (Banbridge District Local Strategy Partnership Limited) has a key role to play in managing community safety activity within the Banbridge District at a strategic level. This Partnership is also supported by an operational team that is responsible for designing and implementing action plans and managing its work. Members include Banbridge Community Regeneration Limited, Banbridge District Council (Community Relations and Environmental Health), Banbridge District Policing Partnership, Craigavon & Banbridge Community HSS Trust, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Probation Board, PSNI, Southern Education and Library Board, Southern Investing for Health Partnership, TADA, TASSK - Healthy Living Centre, Victim Support and Youth Justice Agency.
Q6. How can I play a greater role in community safety?
A6. The Banbridge community is central to community safety and all individuals and groups are welcome to take part either through regular audits and consultations or through running projects in their local area. Contact the Community Safety Co-ordinator on 028 406 60609 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to play a greater role in community safety.
Q7. I am interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. How do I go about this?
A7. Neighbourhood Watch Northern Ireland (NWNI) was launched in June 2004 and is supported centrally by the NIO's Community Safety Unit, the PSNI and the Northern Ireland Policing Board. Groups can apply to become an accredited member of this scheme and, if approved, will receive Neighbourhood Watch signs, guidance and publicity material. For more information or an application form contact the Community Safety Co-ordinator or DPP Manager on 028 4066 0609 or the Community Safety Sergeant on 028 4066 2222.
Q8. What should I do if I think a friend/relative is suffering from domestic violence?
A8. Banbridge District Community Safety Partnership has established a Domestic Violence Drop-In Centre in Banbridge which is open every Tuesday between 9.30am and 12.30pm. This support facility is located in the Old Technical Building. Anyone concerned about domestic violence whether they are a victim themselves or suspect someone else may be a victim can receive confidential and impartial advice from the PSNI, Women’s Aid and Citizens Advice Bureau. The Centre can be contacted on 07731 394297. Craigavon and Banbridge Women’s Aid can also be contacted on 028 3834 3256, Citizens Advice on 028 4062 2201 or Banbridge PSNI on 028 4066 2222. It is important to remember that victims of domestic violence are not always women but are often men and children, and it can include mental as well as physical abuse.
Q9. What key initiatives has the Community Safety Co-ordinator been involved in to date?Q10. How can I submit or ask a question about community safety?
A9. Main initiatives to date include helping to set up Neighbourhood Watch schemes, creating safer play areas, helping to educate young people on solvent and alcohol abuse, setting up a radio-link scheme in Bnabridge, funding a Domestic Violence Drop-In Centre, promoting bonfire safety and managing youth diversionary projects and a Cross Border Community Safety Network. The Co-ordinator also plays a part in assisting the Night Time Economy Action Group, the Investing in Health Working Group and the Banbridge Drugs Working Group.
A10. You can submit a question by selecting the 'Contact Us' link in the left hand navigation listing. Alternatively, you can contact the local Community Safety Co-ordinator directly on 028 4066 0609.