Anti-crime website set up by locals

By Paul Ainsworth

A NEW anti-crime website is helping residents in Finaghy to tackle problems affecting the South Belfast neighbourhood.

The Greater Finaghy and Taughmonagh Policing and Community safety Website has been set up to encourage locals to go online to help prevent crime, and to warn others about potential dangers.

Run by staff at the Benmore Community Development Association (BCDA), the site offers tips for reporting anti-social behaviour, and is used to post warnings about potential crime in the local areas, such as the threat of bogus callers.

The forum also offers statistics about crime and anti-social behaviour, and information directly relating to local estates, such as Erinvale. It also focuses on specific topics of concern as they arise, such as drug dealers, which the site is warning have become “embedded” in Finaghy.

Burglary incidents are reported on the news feed, along with arrests in connection with local incidents, while even appeals for missing pets can get across to a wider audience than before.

Speaking about the huge success of the site so far, Harry Smith of the BCDA said: “We have had such amazing feedback from people over the site, with hundreds of messages flooding in since going online a few months back.

“It’s very encouraging to see so many people get behind this on a community level, and with networking on this scale, we can make a real difference to crime prevention.

“We can also direct people worried about problems to the relevant bodies, such as the NI Housing Executive, who can deal with anti-social behaviour, and of course the PSNI for more serious matters.

“It will be an aid to the new Policing and Community Safety Partnership for South Belfast, and will help us narrow down problems that are raised at that level in public meetings, to what specifically relates to areas like Orpen, Taughmonagh or Benmore.

“We have been getting messages of support from as far away as London, and we hope we can inspire other areas to set up similar forums.”

 

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