‘Safer, Stronger Communities’ launched in Newry

Newry Times News Posted by
info@newrytimes.com
Friday, October 26th, 2012
Community

The Mayor of Newry & Mourne District Council John McArdle attended the launch of an innovative approach to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Newry city.

Left to Right: Sean Mc Kevitt Neighbourhood Renewal Co-Ordinator, Daire Hughes Safer Stronger Communities Administrator, Jerome Burns Regional Deputy Director DSD, Ewan Morgan CRJI Newry/Armagh Development Worker
Bottom row: Conor Murphy MP, Cllr.John McArdle Mayor NMDC, Elizabeth Kimmins Safer Stronger Communities Co-Ordinator

The Safer Stronger Communities is a project funded by the Department of Social Development and led by community safety trailblazers Community Restorative Justice Ireland.

The project is based in Ballybot House in the city and over the next two years will work with communities to help address crime and anti-social behaviour in deprived areas.

The Mayor said that he was delighted to attend the event. “The aim of this new project ‘Safer Stronger Communities’ is to help build communities within the Neighbourhood Renewal Areas of Newry which will be stronger, safer, responsive and more inclusive,” said the First Citizen.

“I wish CRJI Newry/Armagh every success in delivering this project and look forward to a safer strong community.”

Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy also attended the event. He said he was at the Oireachtas last weekend when CRJI made a presentation to MPs, TDs and Seanadóirí.

“I am confident that CRJI’s restorative approach to crime and anti-social behaviour is working in communities across the island. I am delighted to see that not only is it being embraced by communities but also at a government level.”

Formally launching the event, the DSD’s Jerome Burns said he was confident the project would make a difference. “I am confident that the Newry/Armagh CRJI team will deliver and the residents of the Neighbourhood Renewal areas will reap the benefits.”

CRJI project co-ordinator Elizabeth Kimmins said she was delighted with the support of the Mayor and the DSD for the initiative.

“This launch of the project is recognition from statutory bodies that efforts to tackle issues of crime and ASB must include the communities they work in and serve. Our task is not only to make those statutory bodies accountable and accessible to the community but also to work at making those bodies more responsive and more effective.”

Elizabeth Kimmins said that the project will soon launch a survey which will look at the issues most affecting residents in some of the city’s most deprived communities.

“Our aim is to consult as widely as we can with the people most affected by crime and anti-social behaviour,” said Ms Kimmins. “In this way we believe that people can help to shape the bodies which serve them and ensure that they enjoy a better service.

She added, “The advantage of an initiative like Safer Stronger Communities is that it is led and driven by the community itself.”


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