Rural areas and Strabane town to benefit from two new Community Safety Wardens

Saturday 9 July 2022 13:00

THE Community Safety Warden Scheme has now been extended into the rural areas of the district with a focus on tackling anti-social behaviour.

Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) has confirmed it has now successfully fulfilled the two positions following a lengthy recruitment exercise.

Until now, 11 community safety wardens have provided high visibility patrols and engagement in anti-social behaviour in hotspots in the DEAs of Foyleside, Moor, Faughan, Waterside and Ballyarnett, with the team providing an occasional service to the Sperrin and Derg DEAs when they had capacity to do so.

In June last year, councillors passed a motion by Castlederg-based Sinn Féin councillor, Ruairí McHugh, recognising that there is "a deficit in this service within our rural towns and villages" and asking council to commit "to work with PCSP (Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Housing Executive, DfC (Department for Communities), DoJ (Department of Justice) and other relevant departments to fund and establish the roll-out of the community warden scheme into the rural towns and villages of the Derg and Sperrin DEAs."

Staff from the local PCSP were subsequenly tasked to identify a budget to provide the service to the two areas, with the appointment of two wardens now cover the rural DEAs of Sperrin and Derg and Strabane town.

The wardens will be on duty three nights each week between Thursday and Sunday starting at 5.30pm until 3am.

They will work closely with community representatives, residents and PSNI neighbourhood officers to address issues of anti-social behaviour and low-level nuisance.

The scheme is a pilot for six months but may be extended subject to securing the necessary funding.

Meeting with the new staff, outgoing PCSP chair and Sperrin councillor, Alderman Maurice Devenney, said the new posts would have a valuable role in addressing a number of key issues in rural areas.

“I am delighted with the appointment of additional wardens for the rural area of the council district," he commented.

"I have no doubt that the wardens will be able address many issues across the area and reduce fear of crime in the community as they deliver high visibility patrols in the town and villages.

"I would congratulate the PCSP for securing the funding for this much needed service and would like to thank council and Housing Executive for their financial support for the scheme.

"Personally, I am pleased to get this initiative over the line before I hand over the chair of the PCSP to Alderman Guy.

"I have no doubt that the extension of the scheme will contribute to making Strabane town and the rural villages of Sperrin and Derg safer places for everyone and I wish the two new staff all the best in their new roles.”

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