A new Neighbourhood Watch scheme has been organised in the Wynchurch area of south Belfast.
And local MP Dr Alasdair McDonnell is encouraging residents in other communities to considering setting up similar projects.
The politician held a public meeting earlier this month to discuss the issue and said afterwards he was delighted with the response.
“I decided to hold this meeting after a number of residents contacted my office concerned about crime and anti-social behaviour in the Wynchurch area,” explained Dr McDonnell.
“I have been involved in the establishment of a number of Neighbourhood Watch schemes across south Belfast and am a great supporter of these initiatives.
“Not only do they reduce the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour, but they enhance community safety by actually reducing the number of crimes and increasing the number of crimes solved.”
And Dr McDonnell commended the residents of Wynchurch for pulling together.
“What I find heartening is that, at a time when it seems communities are breaking up and people are becoming more and more individualised and isolated, here in Wynchurch we have a group of residents with the community sprit and drive to want to actively look after each other,” he said.
Sean Mullan, a local resident who attended the meeting, later thanked the MP.
“A number of us have been concerned for some time about crime and vandalism in the area,” he explained.
“Now with the help of Alasdair McDonnell and Davy Patterson from Castlereagh Borough Council, we can do something positive to improve safety in our community.
“Setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme isn’t as difficult as you might think and we are looking forward to working with the council and the PSNI to get our scheme up and running with the next few weeks.”
Dr McDonnell said he is only too willing to help other south Belfast residents set up their own Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Anyone interested can contact his office on 9024 2474.