Carrick is a much safer place now than it was a number of years ago thanks to the work of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
That was the message from Councillor Noel Williams, chair of the PCSP, at a celebration event in the Town Hall on Thursday evening of last week.
A range of groups were presented with certificates for their contribution over the years of the partnership, which will be replaced next month by the Mid and East Antrim PCSP.
Those in attendance heard presentations from projects the PCSP has supported, including:
The Women’s Aid Criminal Justice worker for D District;
The Detached Youth Work Programme delivered by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum;
Onus Pathways to Participation programme, which has worked to raise awareness of domestic violence;
Genesis Youth Club in Whitehead.
Mr Williams said it was a privilege to serve as PCSP chairman for the 2014/15 year.
He commented: “The partnership was keen to recognise the service providers and community groups for their endeavours and achievements in policing and community safety over the past year.
“I believe we have contributed to a safer Carrickfergus whilst also collaborating with our partners in Larne and Ballymena to help inform the future of Mid and East Antrim PCSP.
“I would like to thank all of our service providers and groups in the community/voluntary sectors who have helped contribute to the work of Carrickfergus PCSP. A community-based approach with partnership working as its guide has been crucial to our success.
“I would also like to commend the work of the Carrickfergus neighbourhood police team; they continue to engage with communities, building relationships and problem solving despite decreasing resources.”
Speaking to the TIMES at the event, Mr Williams added: “I’m very happy that Carrickfergus Borough is a much safer place than it was a few years ago.”
Guest speaker Steven McCourt, head of Community Safety Unit in Department of Justice, said: “It is pleasing to note the positive strides that Carrickfergus PCSP has made in fulfilling its role in the policing and justice architecture.”
Mr McCourt also highlighted several local projects that had featured in the recent Criminal Justice Inspectorate report on PCSPs.
“Carrickfergus PCSP has not only played a key role in facilitating important policing and community safety improvements, but also, through your cross community boxing and twilight football projects, have contributed to wider Executive Programme for Government priorities in building a strong and shared community,” he added.