Monday, 26 October 2009

Community safety

Our photo shows me delivering the Martin/Treacy Community Safety leaflet to homes along Strand Walk (Thanks to Máiréad, who was all scundered about getting in the photo!!)

Strand Walk and Vulcan Street have unfortunately seen an increase in burglaries and attempted burglaries over recent months. Many people who live along Strand Walk are pensioners and disabled people who live in the specially adapted bungalows, the others are mostly young families.

Anyone who knows Strand Walk will know that it is an isolated part of our area, mostly because of the ‘peacewall’ that runs along the front of it. Much of the shrubbery has become vastly overgrown and as residents have pointed out to me, there is very little street lighting along the path.

This is something we must work to rectify.

I have already contacted the Roads Service and the Housing Executive regarding these issues and hope we can work to create a much more visible and inviting space for the residents who live there that will hopefully go someway in making them feeler safer in their own homes.

Be certain of one thing, the people carrying out these burglaries and attempted burglaries are not representative of the Short Strand community, most of the burglaries and attempted burglaries have been opportunistic, the Strand remains a good place to live with a solid community spirit. That is what will ultimately bring an end to these burglaries and what will face down those who seek to steal, hurt and intimidate residents in their own homes.

The PSNI also have their role to play, they are more than aware of the situation in this part of the district; I have raised it with them and they were left under no illusions about it at the last DPP meeting which met in the Short Strand Community Centre.

Much work lies ahead and on Wednesday afternoon the Short Strand Partnership Board, along with local residents, will receive a presentation from Belfast City Council’s ‘re-imaging’ team for plans to environmentally improve the area, I look forward to it!

In parallel with this, for sometime now, I have been working with NIE and others to come up with ideas for the now disused electricity sub-station in Strand Close, immediately off Strand Walk. I have no doubt that this will form part of the overall environmental improvements and I look forward to hearing the thoughts and opinions of residents along Strand Walk once again.

With all of these things when an problem arises the community in the Strand band together and think of a positive thing to do, this is just another example of that and it will be exciting to see what improvements we can make for people who live in this part of the area.

Go n-éirí linn!!!

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