People power will have its day, community hungry for role in response to criminality and ASB
CRJI has for a number of months been engaging key community organisations in the North Lurgan and Drumgask areas around the possible development of a community safety engagement forum. The idea is to build a forum that is both inclusive and transparent to begin to examine what the key issues for the said communities are and how best for the community to begin to engage with these issues.
We first sent out an audio presentation and received positive feedback from that. We then developed our own online survey and put that out to as many people as possible. We began to circulate it on Thursday the 14th of May 20 and closed it on Monday the 18th May 20. There had been over two hundred responses within that short space of time, so much so that the response outstripped our own expectations.
Feedback was very positive and points up the need for a coming together of community efforts to develop community responses to crime and ASB. The Issue of ASB not surpisingly featured heavily from individual members of the community. This once again points up the trend that low level issues can have a high impact on the quality of life in communities. Drug crime and associated issues was another major concern for community members along with other crime such as violent crime. 67% of respondents said they had experienced crime or ASB, this is a shocking statistic that only underlines the need for the community to empower itself and develop realistic and workable solutions.93% said their communities had experienced some form of crime and ASB highlighting the breadth of the issues and the impact on people.
The issue of restorative practice/justice responses featured well in the survey with 83% seeing a role for restorative work and 98% welcoming restorative practice training. CRJI has a proven track record of being involved in this type of community work while being to the fore of promoting open,inclusive and transparent working practices to ensure that communities have a voice in the responses that take place in their won communities. Responses that don't involve the community are in our opinion always less likely to have a real and lasting impact.
CRJI are committed to developing our engagement in the communities and have local staff on the ground. We will keep everyone updated as best we can in the current climate and this blog should be viewed in that light. So until next time keep safe and ensure your voice matters.