Ballynafeigh PACT meeting
Police at the latest Ballynafeigh PACT (Partners and Communities Together) meeting this Tuesday (August 4) called on residents to ensure they report any incidents of concern to them.
Inspector Paul Rowland, who opened the meeting, said apathy among the public can be an issue and appealed for people to phone in and report problems.
The inspector also said that initiatives such as the PACT meetings were an attempt to reach out to the community and attempt to address residents' concerns.
He was responding to two members of the packed audience at Cooke Centenary Presbyterian Church on Park Road who said they had no confidence in anything being done when they report an incident to police.
PACT meetings aim to improve community engagement processes and inform police of the issues affecting the neighbourhood.
Philip White was representing Ballynafeigh Community Development Association while Belfast City Council (BCC) also had representatives in attendance.
A major issue raised by residents was anti-social behaviour in the area. The PSNI said this is being treated on an ongoing basis, with a number of operations planned for the coming months.
The three ‘priority issues’ raised by residents at the last PACT meeting, which took place in June, were reviewed — littering, dog fouling and a need for alleygating.
Economic restraints on these priority issues were a problem, said Miriam Doyle from environmental health at BCC.
She said there are two litter wardens covering calls in the city — and the city centre is being treated as the priority.
She also said there is currently no funding for alleygating.
Regarding dog fouling, Yolanda Elwood from BCC Dog Warden Service said it will be reviewing its signage.
She added that dog warden bike patrols are to be introduced so wardens can react quicker in parks.
Priority issues to be worked on by the statutory agencies before the next meeting are alleygating again — with a representative from BCC Community Safety to speak — traffic and parking problems on streets including Park Road, St Jude's Square and Rushfield Avenue, and begging along the main Ormeau Road.
At the next meeting, due to take place on Tuesday, September 15, the agencies will reveal what they have done to address these issues.