Initiative to tackle ‘fear of crime’ in Larne

"Put fear of crime in the box" was the theme of the PSNI and Police Community Safety Partnership initiative launched in Larne Town Hall pictured are (from left) Gemma Mateer PSNI Crime Prevention Officer, PCSP Chair, Michael Lynch and PCSP Manager, Wendy Carson. INLT 04-023-PSB

"Put fear of crime in the box" was the theme of the PSNI and Police Community Safety Partnership initiative launched in Larne Town Hall pictured are (from left) Gemma Mateer PSNI Crime Prevention Officer, PCSP Chair, Michael Lynch and PCSP Manager, Wendy Carson. INLT 04-023-PSB

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Police in Larne have announced they will step up efforts to stamp out fear of crime in the borough as part of a unique new initiative.

Last month, the Times reported on claims by local elected representatives that residents have been left feeling “isolated” and “vulnerable” after police relocated their emergency response unit from Larne to Ballymena.

Now, Larne PSNI has teamed up with Larne Policing Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and Mid and East Antrim Age Well Partnership (MEEAP) to launch a joint venture aimed at helping people to feel more secure in their own homes,

The project is designed to reduce the fear of crime through the installation of extra home security equipment, such as security lights and door locks. It will be funded through Larne PCSP and fitted by MEAAP’s Handyman service.

A PSNI crime prevention officer will also spend time with families and individuals to provide advice and discuss the simple steps that can be taken to reduce the opportunities for criminals to strike.

About 200 people are set to avail of the support, having been referred through organisations such as Women’s Aid, MEEAP and Victim Support.

Larne PSNI commander, Chief Insp Stephen McCauley. gave his full backing to the scheme and said: “Fear of crime can have a devastating impact on people, particularly if they have been a victim of crime in the past.

“This scheme empowers people to feel safe and secure in their home by providing both equipment and advice.

“This is part of our commitment to keeping people safe and partnership working.”

Larne PCSP chairman, Councillor Michael Lynch added: “We are delighted to work in partnership with MEEAP and Larne PSNI to ensure vulnerable people in Larne are provided with security measures to make them feel safer in their homes.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Larne PCSP to fund a project in partnership with statutory bodies to help reduce crime, the fear of crime and generally improve the quality of life for local residents.”