Tullygarley residents get advice on crime prevention and how to stay safe at home

Matt Ritchie, Robert Johnston, Gemma Lowry, Geraldine McGahey and Mervyn Dickson at the Tullygarley Community Development Group Crime Prevention and Home Safety event in Ledcom. INLT 17-317-PR

Matt Ritchie, Robert Johnston, Gemma Lowry, Geraldine McGahey and Mervyn Dickson at the Tullygarley Community Development Group Crime Prevention and Home Safety event in Ledcom. INLT 17-317-PR

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TULLYGARLEY Community Development Group has been given advice on crime prevention and home safety.

The event, which took place at Ledcom was funded by the Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

Tullygarley’s chairman Rusty Johnston welcomed guest speakers from the PSNI; Age NI; Citizens’ Advice Bureau; Good Morning Larne Project and Larne Borough Council.

Maria Fyfe, Partnership support officer, explained that the event had been organised as part of its remit to reduce fear of crime in the community.

She indicated that the initiative enabled residents of the locality to focus on public safety concerns with their neighbours.

Larne PSNI’s crime prevention officer Gemma Lowry discussed a number of issues relevant to the town such as reports of a number of bogus callers to homes since Christmas, home heating oil thefts and rogue traders.

She also highlighted the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch schemes which she believes is a deterrent to burglars.

“Neighbours are the best security. Everybody should be looking out for each other. If you hear an alarm going off, don’t ignore it. Go and help the person out,” she said.

She also indicated that police patrol cars will be carrying a device to identify stolen goods which should be marked with the owner’s initials in ultraviolet marker.

The crime prevention officer also highlighted the need to secure and disguise oil tanks in a bid to prevent thefts. She also issued a ‘quick check’ guide to checking a caller’s identity. A freephone number 0800 013 2290 can be made directly to a PSNI staffed call centre and is used by utility providers and some charities.

Mervyn Dickson, from Age NI, demonstrated the benefits of personal alarms for use by elderly people at home.

Matt Ritchie told the gathering about the work of the Good Morning Larne project, a community telephone serice which has 40 elderly and vulnerable clients who receive a telephone call, five days weekly, to check on their well-being.

“We get in touch with these people to see if they need anything. We also offer a befriending service,” he said.

Michelle Campbell represented Citizens’ Advice Bureau and reminded those in attendance to check their benefit entitlement,

Commenting on the event, Tullygarley’s chairman told the Times: “A lot of people do not know what benefits they are entitled to so this information from CAB was very useful.

“The home safety advice was most important as we have vulnerable elderly people living in the area.”

Tullygarley resident Joe McConnell said the crime prevention and home safety event was “very interesting and informative”.

“It gave us a good insight into a lot of issues,” he commented.

Davy Bowen continued: “It was a fantastic event with a great variety of speakers.”

Maria Fyfe added: “The advice given will raise awareness directly in the the community. There was a very good turn-out and we hope to repeat this type of event across the borough.”