30/11/2009

NI Is 'Safest Place To Live'

A crime survey across the whole of the UK has found that living in Northern Ireland is safer than living in England and Wales.

Although the number of people falling victim to crime in Northern Ireland is dropping, the Government has emphasized it will continue its work against violence.

The Northern Ireland Office's Criminal Justice Minister, Paul Goggins, welcomed the good news - revealed in the National Statistics Bulletin.

However, he stated that, despite the reduction in crime they should not to be complacent because there is still "room for improvement".

"The Government is committed to reducing crime even further, with a particular focus on levels of anti-social behaviour, violent crime, car crime and domestic burglary," he said.

As an example of its work in this line, Mr Googins explained that he recently launched the 'Safer Ageing Strategy', setting out a series of initiatives aimed at making older people feel safer in their homes and communities.
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This programme includes the installation of security equipment and delivers practical safety advice to people in this age.

He continued: "We are committed to making Northern Ireland a safer place to live, work and visit and this latest publication confirms that our partnership approach to reducing crime continues to be effective."

These figures were a representative, continuous, personal interview survey of the experiences and perceptions of crime of adults living in private households throughout Northern Ireland.

Previously conducted in 1994/95, 1998, 2001 and 2003/04 and 2007/08, and operating on a continuous basis since January 2005, it closely mirrors the format and core questions of the British Crime Survey, the equivalent survey for England and Wales.

The bulletin refers to fieldwork undertaken during the financial year April 2008 to March 2009, which involved 3,856 people aged 16 years and over giving complete interviews. This represents an eligible response rate of 67%.

(CL/BMcc)

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