Innovative approach to helping vunerable people feel safe

BANBRIDGE Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) has taken an innovative approach to helping local groups of older and vulnerable people in the District feel safer and be safer as part of its local delivery plan for 2012/13.

Working in partnership with the Big Lottery-funded project, ‘Be Safe Stay Safe’ which is led by Leonard Cheshire Disability, the PCSP will use its community contacts to identify groups across the District who could benefit from this interactive session which increases participants’ awareness of community and home safety.

This will help to address the fear of crime which many older and more vulnerable people have, as well as supporting people reporting of crime and specifically disability-related hate crime.

At the launch of this local pilot, Councillor John Hanna, Chairman of Banbridge PCSP, commented, “Banbridge PCSP is delighted to take this opportunity to create good practice by utilising a publicly funded project that’s’ administered by a voluntary organisation and make real some of the strategic outcomes in the NI Community Safety strategy.

“The local innovation will be that local PSNI Neighbourhood Officers and representatives from other appropriate agencies will be notified of the ‘Be Safe Stay Safe’ sessions so that they can provide follow up with groups and build on the capacity created by the sessions.”

Mr Declan McGeown, Head of the Department of Justice Community Safety Unit, continued, “The Justice Minister published the new Community Safety Strategy earlier this year, with the aim of building safer, shared and confident communities. The DOJ has supported the ‘Be Safe Stay Safe’ programme from the start, as it is a great example of the Strategy in action, in helping people to be safe and feel safe.”

Insp Jacquie Gillespie, the PSNI Banbridge Neighbourhood inspector, added, “We’re pleased to support the Be Safe Stay Safe Initiative. Any scheme which will reduce the fear of crime and increase awareness of how to protect yourself and your property is to be welcomed. This is one more way we can support the local community and help.”

Mrs Eilis Mulholland, the ‘Be Safe Stay Safe’ project manager, attending the launch with Ms Laverne Duffy, a Leonard Cheshire service user from Banbridge, concluded, “We are delighted to be working with Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership. This exciting new initiative will make sure disabled people and their carers have the opportunity to participate in our local safety awareness programme. This is an excellent example of two organisations working together to help vulnerable people in Banbridge to feel safe both at home and out ‘n’ about.”

Banbridge PCSP will be supporting ‘Be Safe Stay Safe’ session to Banbridge Arthritis Care on 21st January 2013, and to the 50Plus Actively Ageing Well club on January 29 2013.

If you represent a group in the Banbridge District who would benefit from a ‘Be Safe Stay Safe’ input, please contact the Banbridge PCSP staffing team on 028 4062 0248 or email: