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Policing and Community Safety Partnership

MEA PCSP Annual Report - 2019-20

Chair and Vice Chair Foreword

Mid and East Antrim PCSP considers the issues which local people identify as being of great importance and works alongside partners in seeking to address those issues.

The Policing Committee of Mid and East Antrim PCSP also brings the views of local people into consideration when working alongside the police in setting local targets for the police service to achieve.

We are delighted with the projects and initiatives that Mid and East Antrim PCSP have delivered in 2019-20 to help make sure that the aims and objectives identified within the Mid and East Antrim PCSP Strategic Plan were achieved.

Mid and East Antrim PCSP has delivered some excellent projects during this past year, including the Community Safety Wardens Scheme and the Criminal Justice Worker to support victims of Domestic Violence.

Important work has also taken place in schools in relation to Road Safety and Drugs and Alcohol awareness.

Through these types of innovative initiatives, we are building positive relationships between our community, partners and stakeholders.

We wish to acknowledge the work, guidance and support of fellow PCSP members, PCSP staff and staff of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council who have assisted Mid and East Antrim PCSP and everyone who has been involved in making Mid and East Antrim PCSP successful throughout 2019/20.

We also want to extend our gratitude to the Joint Committee (NI Policing Board and Department of Justice) for its continued commitment to our work through funding, support and guidance.

We are confident that the success experienced in 2019/20 will continue as the PCSP endeavours to make a substantial positive impact within the local community, through collaborative working and continued delivery of a high quality service throughout, ultimately contributing to a safer society for all residents and visitors of Mid and East Antrim.

PCSP Chairperson Ald. John Carson, PCSP Vice Chairperson Marjorie Hawkins

Mid and East Antrim Policing & Community Safety Partnership (PCSP)

PCSPs receive annual funding from the Joint Committee (the Department of Justice and NI Policing Board) and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, with a legislative aim to work with their local community to help address crime, fear of crime and anti-social behaviour issues.

Joint Committee has provided support to PCSPs to use an Outcomes Based Approach (OBA) as a more consistent and better means of measuring impact and improving transparency and accountability in the delivery of their work in local communities.

Mid and East Antrim PCSP are now routinely using all aspects of OBA in their work, with an action plan being completed using indicator and performance measure information; a project card template being used for each initiative and thematic report cards being submitted to the Joint Committee every quarter to ensure impact is measured and that the right projects are being delivered to meet identified needs.

Unfortunately due to the unprecedented COVID Pandemic, delivery of PCSP activity in Quarter 4 was adversely impacted with the cancellation of events and work in local schools.

To support PCSPs in their transition to this new way of working, the Joint Committee developed PCSP planning guidance which incorporates the following:

  • Information on the OBA process;
  • An action plan template which includes a review and summary synopsis to capture the rationale for continuing, amending or not progressing projects from one year to another;
  • A set of agreed performance measures for generic projects;
  • A project card template to be completed for each initiative;
  • A thematic report card template to be used to help highlight impact at a more strategic level; and
  • A framework showing how the work of PCSPs and their use of OBA supports the common Programme for Government Outcome 7 - We have a safe community where we respect the law and each other.

The membership of the partnership is comprised of elected members, independent members and representatives from statutory agencies.

Mid and East Antrim PCSP focuses on the policing and community safety issues that matter most within the Mid and East Antrim Borough to help bring about a safer community.

Mid and East Antrim PCSP will:

  • Consult and engage with the local community on the issues of concern in relation to policing and community safety
  • Identify and prioritise the issues of concern and prepare plans for how these can be addressed
  • Monitor the performance of the police locally and work to gain public confidence and cooperation in crime prevention
  • Deliver a reduction in crime and improve community safety in partnership with others
  • Work collaboratively with key partners to identify and address issues within the Community Plan for Mid and East Antrim.

Membership of Mid and East Antrim PCSP April 2019 - March 2020

Independent Members:

  • Mrs Mary Watson
  • Mr Jonathan Cooke
  • Ms Emme McIlveen
  • Miss Wendy Kerr
  • Mrs Marjorie Hawkins
  • Dr Ashleigh Perry
  • Mrs Marion Maguire
  • Mrs Brenda Leslie

Elected Members:

  • Ald John Carson
  • Cllr Marc Collins
  • Cllr Danny Donnelly
  • Cllr Timothy Gaston
  • Cllr Thomas Gordon
  • Cllr Lauren Gray
  • Cllr Cheryl Johnston
  • Cllr John McDermott
  • Cllr Gregg McKeen
  • Cllr Andrew Wilson

Statutory Members

Member Contact number
Education Authority for Northern Ireland 028 9056 4000
Northern Health and Social Care Trust 028 9442 4000
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service 028 9266 4221 (999 in the case of emergency)
Northern Ireland Housing Executive 03448 920 900
Probation Board for Northern Ireland 028 2566 4998
Police Service of Northern Ireland 999 in the case of emergency/ 101 non emergency
Youth Justice for Northern Ireland 028 9031 6400

PCSP Members Attendance 2019-2020

PCSP Member Full partnership meetings (7) Public meetings (3) Attendance Total 2019-20 (7)
Ald John Carson 6 3 6
Cllr Marc Collins 6 2 6
Cllr Danny Donnelly 6 2 6
Cllr Timothy Gaston 7 3 7
Cllr Tom Gordon 7 3 7
Cllr Lauren Gray 5 2 5
Cllr Cheryl Johnston 0 0 0
Cllr John McDermott 7 3 7
Cllr Gregg McKeen 4 1 4
Cllr Andrew Wilson 6 3 6
Johnathan Cooke 0 0 0
Emma McIlveen 0 0 0
Mary Watson 5 2 5
Wendy Kerr 4 2 4
Marjorie Hawkins 6 2 6
Ashleigh Perry 0 0 0
Marian Maguire 0 0 0
Brenda Leslie 4 0 4
Education Authority 6 3 6
Northern Health Social Care Trust 5 3 5
Youth Justice Agency 7 3 7
Probation Board Northern Ireland 2 1 2
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service 3 1 3
Northern Ireland Housing Executive 7 3 7
Police Service Northern Ireland 6 3 6

Action Plan Report

This Annual Report refers to the second year of the three year strategic PCSP Plan for Mid and East Antrim 2019-2022 and covers the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

This plan focused on local community safety issues by addressing the strategic priorities of reducing anti-social behaviour (ASB) and crime.

The projects delivered by the Partnership during 2019-2020 period are set out in the following pages.

During the reporting period, Mid and East Antrim PCSP implemented its Strategic Action Plan which includes three strategic priorities.

Strategic Priority 1: To form and successfully deliver the functions of the Policing & Community Safety Partnership for the area

A key focus of work under this strategic priority is in relation to the day to day running of the partnership, facilitating meetings of the partnership on a monthly basis and also thematic task and finish working groups which have been established to support the PCSP.

The staff team responsible for Mid and East Antrim PCSP also operate regular reporting mechanisms for projects supported by the partnership to ensure that outcomes are met.

The staff team are also required to meet rigid reporting requirements for the Joint Committee of the Department of Justice and Northern Ireland Policing Board in relation to Mid and East Antrim PCSP performance.

Consultation and engagement is another key focus of the partnerships work in relation to this strategic priority.

The partnership actively encourages community participation in identifying solutions to issues whenever applicable.

Public meetings of the partnership are widely advertised.

These meetings always involve interactive elements where members of the public are actively encouraged to engage with PCSP members, the police service and other statutory partners.

Additional community consultation also took place this year as Council’s Community Planning Department moved towards a new geographic approach with its staff team now organised according to Council’s District Electoral Area (DEA) system.

This took the form of three well-attended public meetings in Larne, Ballymena and Carrickfergus. An online survey was also carried out to facilitate those who were unable to attend the public meetings.

External communications also remains a key tenet of the partnerships work.

The Mid and East Antrim PCSP Facebook page continues to be a successful medium for communicating the work of the partnership to the wider community.

In 2019/20 a total of 2592 people were reached by the Mid and East Antrim PCSP Facebook page.

Other communication activities included a text alert scheme to increase crime awareness and a regular Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.

The aim of strategic Priority 1 is to form and successfully deliver the functions of the Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership by:

  • Forming and successfully delivering the functions of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership for the area:
    • Facilitate (Private) PCSP meetings with appropriate monthly and six-monthly reports to NIPB plus other financial, progress and annual reports within specified timeframes.
    • Support to Theme Based Working Groups Facilitation and room hire for all themed working groups within identified strategic priorities and projects.
  • Successfully and transparently delivering the functions of the MEA PCSP:
    • Assist in the delivery of MEA PCSP Action Plan
    • Carry out consultation across MEA to inform the PCSP Action Plan
  • Raising Awareness of the functions of Mid and East Antrim PCSP:
    • Communications: Increase social media presence
    • Continued delivery of Text Alert, NHW Magazines and other publications to raise awareness of the work of MEA PCSP.

Strategic Priority 1: Key Outcomes:

  • 8 PCSP Meetings conducted in 19/20 including 3 Public Meetings.
  • 253 responses received from the general public through an e-survey.
  • 2592 people reached by PCSP Facebook page in 19/20.
  • 528 activities conducted including press releases, social media posts, Youth Fairs, Small Grants information sessions and local press coverage.
  • Here 2 Help campaign gained positive publicity on BBC News, Belfast telegraph, social media and local press.
  • 6 Anti-Social Behaviour working group meetings carried out in 19/20 with over 15 attendees at meetings from both Statutory and Community bodies.
  • 2 Drugs and Alcohol working group meetings in 19/20 with over 10 attendees at meetings from both Statutory and Community bodies.

Strategic Priority 2: To improve community safety by tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Mid and East Antrim

The Partnership continues to invest significant resources in tackling anti-social behavior across the Borough.

The Community Safety Warden Scheme maintains a strong and visible community safety presence in all localities of the Borough.

In addition, the Detached Youth Worker programme provided by Bytes deploys qualified youth workers to anti-social behavior hot spots where young people may be detached or feel marginalized from mainstream youth provision.

The value of partnership working is illustrated in these schemes in that both initiatives are jointly funded by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Fear of Crime within the Borough continues to be addressed with the help of partner organisations such as the Inter-Ethnic Forum and also the Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership.

The most vulnerable members of the community also receive wrap around support from the multi-agency Mid and East Antrim Support Hub which meets on a monthly basis.

Partnership approaches also remain crucial to turning the curve in relation to Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence.

The PCSP continues to part fund the Domestic Violence Support Worker to assist victims within Mid and East Antrim Borough.

Based within the PSNI Public Protection Unit, the Support Worker is tasked with providing gender neutral support to victims of domestic violence and assisting victims through the criminal justice system.

These crimes often run beneath the surface in communities and MEA PCSP has continued to work closely with Women’s Aid, ONUS, NEXUS and MAPNI.

Under Strategic Priority Two the Partnership worked with several project providers at a local level in relation to drugs and alcohol issues.

The PCSP also worked as part of a multi-agency approach to launch and promote the Here to Help App in February 2020.

The MEA PCSP Small Grants scheme makes PCSP funding support accessible at a grassroots level, this has supported numerous smaller and worthwhile initiatives that have helped to improve community safety but also to build relationships between the PSNI and communities.

Important work also continues under Strategic Priority 2 in relation to the removal of paramilitary graffiti and slogans across the Council area to help instill a culture of lawfulness in Mid and East Antrim Borough.

The aim of Strategic Priority 2 is to improve community safety by tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Mid and East Antrim through the following sub themes:

  • Domestic Abuse, Sexual Crime and Adult Safeguarding (Community Plan link - Vulnerable People)
    • Outcome: Communities in the MEA area feel safe and are more aware of domestic violence, sexual crime and adult safeguarding and the range of services available to address them
  • Hate Crime / Fear of Crime
    • Outcome: People in Mid and East Antrim feel safe and live, work and visit free from the impact of hate crime
  • Crime / Anti-Social Behaviour
    • Outcome: People in Mid and East Antrim feel safe to live, work and visit free from the impact of ASB.
      Young People and adults in Mid and East Antrim feel safe and are less at risk of engaging with the criminal justice system.
      Review target areas with a focus on youths and adults causing annoyance/ nuisance; low level crime; vehicle nuisance; graffiti, litter, alcohol and drug related issues; and noisy behaviour and target hot spots.
  • Small Grants Scheme
    • Outcome: People in Mid and East Antrim feel safe and live, work and visit free from the impact of rural crime, road safety, business and retail crime, cyber-crime and burglaries.
  • Drugs and Alcohol
    • Outcome: People in Mid and East Antrim feel safe and live, work and visit free from the harm caused and impact of drug taking and dealing and alcohol abuse.
      Awareness raising of Support services available
  • Paramilitary Activity
    • Outcome: People in Mid and East Antrim feel safe and live, work and visit free from the impact of paramilitary and organised crime activity

Key Outcomes:

  • 252 incidents of ASB addressed and 1226 Patrols of housing estates carried out through the Community Safety Wardens Project.
  • 141 victims of Domestic/Sexual Violence received support via the PCSP funded Domestic Abuse Support Worker.
  • Bi Lingual Advocates supported 2544 Ethnic Minority clients on a range of issues from Race Hate Crime, Housing issues, Employment assistance, benefits assistance and signposting.
  • 19 young people engaged in and completed a 13-week programme in Broughshane, 10 of those completed Rural Sparks programme and completed an OCN qualification in conjunction with detached youth work project.
  • 2 CPD certified Domestic Violence and Abuse Awareness Raising training sessions delivered to a range of counselling students at NRC.
  • Twice weekly meetings held for over 30 clients suffering from Drugs and Alcohol addiction and One to one coaching from qualified recovery coach provided on needs basis and phone line for help and advice provided through Cornerstone project.
  • 37 young people actively engaged in diversionary work across ASB hotspots in Carrickfergus and Greenisland areas through Carrick Connect ASB Project.
  • 2 Rapid Bins installed across the Borough for safe disposal of unwanted drugs – to date a significant quantity of drugs has been retrieved from them.
  • 52 Needles removed from the Ballymena Area through the EXTERN programme.
  • In 19/20 17 Cohorts were discharged by the support hub because their needs had been met through multi agency support.
  • 600 people benefited from Small grants delivered programmes though PCSP

Strategic Priority 3: To have improved community confidence in policing in Mid and East Antrim Borough

The aim of Strategic Priority 3 is to improve community confidence in policing in Mid and East Antrim by:

  • Facilitating a Policing Committee private meeting once a quarter
  • Facilitating at least two Policing Committee public meetings
  • Delivering a number of engagement opportunities between the PSNI and local communities to build confidence
  • Encouraging PSNI Engagement activities on Road Safety
  • Delivering and installing of Speed Indication Devices
  • Deployments and installations CCTV
  • Providing support for Neighbourhood Watch, Farmwatch and Text Alert Schemes

Building and maintaining community confidence in the Police Service of Northern Ireland continues to be central to the ethos of MEA PCSP.

In addition, the partnership also undertakes a number of specific initiatives in relation to this strategic priority.

Throughout the year, the partnership holds private policing committee meetings where the PSNI District Commander presents a performance report and takes questions from both elected and independent PCSP members.

The Policing Committee also meets in public at regular intervals.

These meetings are publicly advertised and promoted, the venue also rotates across the three main towns of Mid and East Antrim Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus.

The facilitation of these meetings provides members of the public with an important opportunity to monitor PSNI performance and for the PSNI to engage with local communities.

The partnership has deployed Speed Indication Devices (SIDs) on rural roads to assist communities and the PSNI in improving road safety.

The PCSP also undertakes projects in relation to Road Safety Awareness in local schools and in communities that further support the Police Service to engage with local communities.

MEA PCSP also works in partnership with Council and the PSNI on a CCTV deployment scheme which has assisted PSNI responsiveness to emerging issues at a local level.

An SMS text alert scheme also helps raise awareness of emerging crime trends such as bogus callers and scams.

PCSP staff also work alongside the PSNI Neighbourhood Police Teams to support Neighbourhood Watch Schemes across the Borough.

The rural Farmwatch Initiative has also been deployed in rural areas of the Borough to increase crime awareness among the farming community and to assist the PSNI in building relationships in this section of the community.

Specialist information and advice is also available to these communities from the Mid and East Antrim PSNI Crime Prevention Officer. 

Key Outcomes:

  • 3 Private Policing Committee meetings
  • 1 Public Policing Committee meeting held with 48 members of the public in attendance and 97% of those attending gained increased knowledge of local policing priorities and changes in reported crime including how it is resourced and policed (knowledge increases)
  • Radar visits with 2 schools that the PSNI organised and attended.
  • 5 Text Alert messages issues to registered users
  • 4 editions of NHW newsletter produced (200 paper copies) and delivered to all 30 NHW schemes in the Borough and Council facilities.
  • 22 participants engaged in Mental Health event in conjunction with PSNI to encourage engagement - 96% of the participants said they would be more likely to engage with the PSNI after taking part in the event
  • PSNI Engagement Quiz night ran in Carrickfergus with 84% of local residents more likely to engage with the PSNI after taking part in the quiz
  • New Driver Road Safety project ran in 5 Schools in the Borough
  • 3 CCTV Deployments
  • 3 SIDs have been deployed.
  • 100 Kill your speed signs distributed across the Borough
  • In total 146 students between the ages of 16-19 listened and contributed to the Safe Motoring presentation with 1131 receiving the New Driver NI magazine.