Latest Police Service of Northern Ireland annual statistics for B District (South and East Belfast) have shown that 916 fewer instances of crime — a fall of 5.2 percent – were reported in the last year.
Thanks to a number of community-based projects such as the Street by Street project, retail Crimewatch and Get Home Safe partnership, during the financial year 2009/2010 recorded crime in B District fell to 16,830, compared to 17,746 the previous financial year.
Meanwhile, clearance rates increased by 4.4 percent in the last year compared with the previous 12 months (25.3 percent against 20.9 percent).
Across B District, there were an additional 110 drugs seizures. Arrests related to the seizures rose by 12.2 percent.
B District Commander Chief Superintendent Alan McCrum, said: “A fall in overall crime means fewer victims of crime in our community, and that is something I welcome. After all, making the community safer for everyone by working with our partner agencies, and with the people of this area themselves through our neighbourhood policing teams, is at the very heart of everything we do.
“We have made great progress with a number of offences, and we’ll be working hard to continue that progress while making sure we work with local people to help bring about similar reductions in other areas of concern.”
Chief Superintendent McCrum also paid tribute to partner organisations in the community, explaining that a united approach to crime can bring huge benefits for everyone.
He said: “We are making a difference against many of the crimes which cause concern to people in this area, however there are areas where we will now be stepping up our work with the community so that we can tackle them more effectively.
“We hope our partner agencies, and those who live and work here themselves, will continue to work alongside us to make B District even safer.”
In South Belfast, burglaries have fallen by over a fifth and overall recorded crime has fallen by almost five percent.
A total of 782 domestic burglaries were reported in south Belfast during the financial year 2009/ 2010, compared to 991 in 2008/2009, whichmeans 209 fewer people suffered this particularly upsetting and intrusive type of crime.
A 16.4 percent fall in theft or unauthorised taking of motor vehicles in South Belfast — 260 incidents against 311 the previous year — and a fall of 17.8 percent in criminal damage through a reduction of 2,272 to 1,867 incidents, contribute towards a 4.9 percent reduction in reported crime.
A total of 11,648 incidents were reported in the last financial year, compared to 12,243 in the same period the previous year, a total of 595 fewer incidents of crime.
Meanwhile, clearance rates in south Belfast have improved by four percent, rising from 22.1 percent to 26.1 percent.
The statistics also include a number of areas of concern which police are determined to address in the coming financial year.
Robbery rose by 7.4 percent (275 from 256 incidents), theft from motor vehicles showed an increase of 27.9 percent (771 from 603 incidents) and overall theft increased by three percent (4,365 from 4,236).
Chief Superintendent McCrum continued: “I would pay tribute to the hard work of my colleagues in bringing about such a marked decrease in offences such as burglary and car theft.
“They have done this through community-based projects such as the Safer Belfast Group.
“This scheme brings key statutory organisations together to share information and work to reduce crime through the use of wardens, ‘alley-gating’, youth projects, mobile CCTV and more.
“We’ll also be focusing our efforts on areas of concern in the same way, by working with the community through our neighbourhood policing teams. For example, a Street by Street project is to be introduced to the Donegall Pass area and will help community workers at street level to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Meanwhile we’ll be more committed than ever to excellent schemes such as retail Crimewatch and the Get Home Safe partnership.
“In this way I’m certain that police, our partner agencies and the community, all working in co-operation, can continue to make South Belfast a safer place to live and work.”
Police in South Belfast also play an active part in a number of successful partnerships such as an ethnic minority advocacy scheme, Anti-Social Behaviour Forum, Round Table on Racism and a Licensed Premises Group, as well as a number of community-level groups such as the Lower Ormeau Anti-Social Behaviour Forum and Holylands Interagency Group.