Police and PCSP in crime prevention bid

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Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon PCSP working with Local Policing Teams will be running local initiatives to support a new campaign that encourages the public to protect their homes.

The campaign urges the public to take a few simple steps to protect their homes, their family, and their belongings from opportunistic crime.

Approximately one third of domestic burglaries across Northern Ireland are committed because home owners leave doors and windows open.

The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the crime prevention measures that can be taken to keep people and property safe, and particularly for our older people.

PCSP Chair Councillor Robert Smith said: “Recent statistics show that domestic burglary, including those against older people have fallen this year in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon District however we are not complacent and the levels of such crime continues to rise elsewhere across NI therefore burglary remains of concern for the PCSP.

“Our involvement will bring a local focus to the problem and help not only to increase awareness of domestic burglary in our area, but also highlight the important role our PCSP has in making the community safer.

“Things like checking and securing your back doors and windows and security marking your valuables will help to prevent burglaries in your home. With a focus on protecting your belongings the campaign also highlights the importance of protecting elderly members of your family against burglary and what steps to take to ensure they stay safe in their home.”

Domestic burglary against older people has increased by 36.2 per cent across NI however Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon District have seen a reduction of 14 per cent compared to last year.

The PSNI, working with the Commissioner for Older Persons, is also launching the ‘Nominated Neighbour’ scheme.

This is an initiative where an older person can direct an unrecognised caller to a nominated neighbour if they are home alone or uncomfortable with the caller.

The resident will display a card instructing the caller to contact their nominated neighbour, who will then try and check the caller’s identity.

PSNI Chief Inspector Davy Beck said: “We want people to feel secure in their own home and the Nominated Neighbour scheme will help the more vulnerable in our communities feel safer. They do not have to answer the door to any unknown person but can direct them to a person they trust.

“Through taking small crime prevention steps and looking out for each other in our neighbourhoods, we hope to see burglary across Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon reduce.”