Alliance East Antrim MLA and Justice spokesperson, Stewart Dickson, and Larne councillor Michael Lynch have welcomed news that crime rates have decreased in Larne and Carrickfergus.
Statistics released by the PSNI showed a recorded decrease in crime in D and H Districts. H District, which includes Larne, showed the largest decrease in Northern Ireland of 9.8 per cent.
The statistics also showed an increase in crime detection and clearance rates.
Mr Dickson welcomed the statistics as a “very positive development for Larne and East Antrim as a whole”, commenting: “Despite many people’s perceptions, crime is on the decrease and is now at its lowest level since new statistical counting rules were introduced in 1998.
“We owe the PSNI a huge debt of gratitude for the excellent work they perform daily right across East Antrim, keeping our community safe.
“The Chief Constable has prioritised community policing and this is delivering results.
“There is no doubt that the measures put in place by the Justice Minister (Alliance leader David Ford) to reduce reoffending and establish the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PSCPs) are having the desired effect.”
Mr Dickson regretted “one negative statistic” which showed that across Northern Ireland, sectarian incidents are up 2.1 per cent to 1,372. He said: “This highlights the n
eed for all ministers from all political parties to play their part in promoting good relations and building a shared future.”
Cllr Lynch said the reduction was due to the efforts of the PSNI and an effective local response to crime, but more work needed to be done in communities to address the fear of crime.
“These figures are very encouraging and I would like to thank the PSNI for their continued hard work and dedication,” he added.
“I want to see a continued downward trend in crime rates and for this to be reflected in people’s perceptions of crime. I encourage all agencies to work closely with the local PSNI and for residents and groups to engage purposefully with Larne PCSP to continue to develop an effective, community-led response to crime,” said Cllr Lynch.