“NIO will provide some additional resources..”

The Northern Ireland Policing and Justice Minister’s announcement of the formation of a West Belfast Community Safety Forum was pre-empted by Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams, MP, MLA, statement in which he seems to prefer to call it a Community Confidence Forum – a title also used in the BBC report. Whatever it’s called, whether it will be more effective than “volunteers patrolling” west Belfast remains to be seen.. From Paul Goggins’ statement

“Through the Community Safety Partnership, we will create a co-ordinated approach; identifying the issues of greatest concern and then delivering practical solutions. The Northern Ireland Office will provide some additional resources to get this initiative off the ground, although the key to success will be the extent to which existing resources are targeted in a more effective way. We will also want to see how this approach might be applied to other parts of Northern Ireland”.

Adds Interestingly, the BBC report no longer refers to a “Community Confidence Forum”. And In the comments zone Nevin points to the two versions of the BBC report side by side. Update Tuesday 13th May, Sinn Féin released an updated statement, dated 12th May, without reference to a “Community Confidence Forum”.Also from Paul Goggins statement

Notes to editors

The Planning Meeting is to be held in the week commencing 19 May. Invitations will be sent to key stakeholders, including DSD, DoE, PSNI, West Belfast DPP, West Belfast Partnership Board, the Housing Executive, and the Probation Board.

Details of the Community Safety Forum – including membership, objectives and resources – will be finalised at that Planning Meeting.

The Belfast Community Safety Partnership is one of the 26 CSPs covering Northern Ireland. The Partnership brings together over 30 organisations whose services impact upon crime, fear of crime and anti-social behaviour. Its membership is drawn from the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. It is supported in its work by the Community Safety Unit of the NIO, which sets the Community Safety Strategy for Northern Ireland.

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  • [aside]Community safety is also an issue in North Antrim, Peter, not least for newcomers to the area.

    Two arrested after arson attack

    Police probe racist motive in car blaze

    Pub attack suspicious,say police

    Racist attack on Co Antrim home

    There has been limited comment from our local political representatives and the police appear to be somewhat impotent. The police used to have their finger on the local community pulse but that no longer seems to be the case; the ne’er-do-wells have a degree of anonymity and freedom of movement that isn’t in the best interests of community safety.

  • News Sniffer has the two versions of the BBC report laid out side-by-side.

  • Sarah Holland

    I think this is a great initiative, as do the rest of my family. We had been meeting with Paul Goggins and with our local elected reps and were lobbying for this very thing. We didn’t hesitate to lend our support, the success of the project in Upper Springfield was clear and it was also obvious that it needed to be rolled out throughout the rest of the city.

    What is needed now is a motivated & dedicated forum and also long term funding. I hope this project succeeds as it’s a useful tool in aiding local grassroots residents groups to engage with public service bodies at a high level.

    It could also serve as a model and be rolled out to other urban areas.