Community planning powers will help ‘reduce crime’

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy, Alderman Greg McKeen, Chairman of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Vice Chair Wendy Kerr, and PSNI Superintendent Ryan Henderson.  INCT 35-729-CON
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy, Alderman Greg McKeen, Chairman of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Vice Chair Wendy Kerr, and PSNI Superintendent Ryan Henderson. INCT 35-729-CON
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The introduction of community planning powers at local council level will support the reduction of crime across Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

That was the assurance at the inaugural meeting of the MEA Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) last week in Ardeevin, Ballymena.

Chairman of the new partnership, Alderman Gregg McKeen said he was “delighted” to serve as the first chairman of the Mid and East Antrim PCSP.

He noted that PCSP members and staff had already been working closely with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and other statutory partners throughout the transitional period.

“It was a busy agenda and we were briefed on the good work that has already been delivered through the Mid and East Antrim PCSP Transitional Strategy and Action Plan,” Ald McKeen said. “The strategy will help us to build on the good work of the previous partnerships in Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus.”

The new chairman added that he was excited about the potential for the partnership in the year ahead. “PCSPs give us a unique opportunity to bring services closer to communities and with the introduction of the new Community Planning powers, PCSPs can help to tackle societal issues and to reduce crime. The interagency approach will be central to our work,” he said.

Commenting on an update from PSNI Superintendent Ryan Henderson on the reorganisation of policing districts, Ald McKeen added: “We are supportive of these efforts to provide a quality police service across Mid and East Antrim Borough.”

The new PCSP includes 10 local councillors, appointed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and nine independent members, who were appointed by the Northern Ireland Policing Board to serve on the partnership.

Seven statutory agencies will also actively contribute to the work of the partnership.