A new community based policing team has been set up at Lisburn and Castlereagh to cover the area on a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis.
The Local Policing Team (LPT) will attend calls as well as developing a greater sense of ownership of the area and the problems within it.
The LPTs will be multi-functional and deliver core policing on a daily basis, as well as finding solutions to problems in a much more ‘policing within the community’ style than the previous response teams.
The team of ten will consist of constables, a sergeant and two inspectors.
New Superintendent of Lisburn and Castlereagh Sean Wright said that the changes are expected to come into force by the end of the summer.
“This new model of policing will see resources be used in the most efficient and effective way,” he said.
“Despite the changes of budget cuts and boundary changes the top quality performance will not stop and our commitment to deal with crime.”
Spt Wright has met with community groups who voiced their concerns over the new changes.
“Some local community groups felt that they would lose that one-to-one contact and were worried. We have assured them and they still have identifiable officers and we are as committed as ever and have assured them these teams will be working more closely within the community.
“When people need us we will be there. Some people were concerned of all these changes especially when the custody suite closed so we want to assure them.”
In the past 12 month 332 more victims saw a positive criminal justice outcome than the previous year and the policing district has seen a reduction in police complaints.
Mr Wright said, “This is a very busy district. I am just grateful for the opportunity to be working here. I want to add onto the successes that have already been made in the weeks and years to come.”
He outlined the recent successes. In a three day period from May 25 to 27 an operation was set up to look at speeding, as well as seatbelt and mobile phone issues. In that time they issued 26 fines.
“We also have an issue with drink driving which seems to be a problem and this has to stop,” he said. “Motorists are clearly not listening to the warnings out there. We are increasingly catching these people and it’s not only late at night, but also in the morning.
“Those drink driving are not only putting themselves at risk but other pedestrians and motorists too.”
He said that the community helped them make seven arrests recently when they stopped two cars after receiving information from the public. On June 29 they made two arrests when they received a call about suspicious activity.
“If we receive a call we do respond I can assure you and as a result of recent calls made from the community to us we made seven arrests in as many days following a tip off from residents.”