Fear of crime can be as damaging as crime itself, feeling safe is vital for healthy communities
After a lengthy meeting with our key staff in Lurgan it is clear that momentum around our idea of a Community Safety Engagement Forum (C.S.E.F) is building. Staff say they are now taking calls from interested groups and members of the community around how things are progressing, when will it actually meet and what sort of issues will it handle. All good questions and its great to see such energy around the idea.
CRJI will take the community development route while delivering this project, its important that the main focus for the project is the community. We feel that a space is needed to discuss and debate what the role and shape that the forum will take. What relationships need built between community members and organisations to improve the effectiveness of the CSEF and what skills sit around the table. We also need the community to workout their priorities going forward. To achieve this we will begin a round of workshops to tease out the thoughts that are already there. We will harness the good will that exists and try to develop a community safety agenda that will inform future direction.
The fear of crime is all too prevalent in our modern society, crime and the potential of crime is on our TV screens in crime dramas, reality crime programmes, news platforms and social media and of course the visibility of crime itself. This fear has caused us in communities to become reactionary when we look for solutions. From a Restorative Justice perspective we view crime as an affront on people, damaging relationships and tearing at the very fabric that supports the very being of our communities. So building relationships across the communities most impacted by crime will be a number one target. Making a difference will be up there and seeking accountability from those who are charged to deliver on behalf of our communities will also be high on the agenda.
As the project develops there will be much to do but we relish the challenge. We ask people to understand that just bringing problems on its own is not good enough. At CRJI we ask you to also bring solutions that respect all and can work for all. Building a rights based approach to these issues is also about building a tolerant rights based society. So lets get on with it, watch this space.