30/05/2013

Two-Year Initiative To Tackle Fear Of Crime

A £60,000 initiative to tackle the fear of crime in Northern Ireland has been announced by the Department of Justice.

The two-year project is to engage with older people to develop new ideas and solutions to address the fear of crime.

Justice Minister David Ford, speaking from the Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament, said crime levels in Northern Ireland were at a 15-year low, but that the consequences of crime can still be "devastating".

"Fear of crime amongst our older generation is very real throughout Northern Ireland and I want to do all I can to make sure older people feel safer in their homes and community," he said.

"This new initiative is in response to what we have been hearing. Fear of crime is an important and complex issue. We need to gain a greater understanding of why it is high amongst the older generation when actual crime levels are relatively low.

"The Age Sector Platform will work directly with older people who can discuss their concerns, review how well current schemes work and provide advice and ideas for the future."

Patricia Donald, Chair of Age Sector Platform welcomed the new initiative, commenting: "The Pensioners Parliament is about giving older people a voice, and more importantly getting those in positions of power to listen to what the real issues are and take action to address them.

"Fear of crime has remained a top issue over the past three years of the Pensioners Parliament so we are delighted that the Justice Minister has recognised this issue and committed to tackling it."

(IT/CD)

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