Published Thursday, 26 July 2012
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The money, which is supplemented with money recovered from criminal assets, will be invested over the next three years to fund regional projects and support the new Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) which aim to address crime and fear of crime at a local level.
To build safer communities its aims to reduce risk of individuals coming into contact with the justice system; reduce the level of alcohol and drug-related crime and tackling domestic and sexual violence. It also aims to continue tackling anti-social behavior within local communities.
The strategy was developed after extensive public consultation across Northern Ireland and the newly formed Policing and Community Safety Partnerships will have a central role to play in its implementation.
"The key to the success of the strategy will be how it delivers for local communities. The new Policing and Community Safety Partnerships are key to taking the objectives of this strategy and transforming them into reality on the ground," the Minister said.
The strategy emphasises creating shared communities, it will focus on issues at interfaces and seek to reduce the number of interface structures as well as tackling hate crime.
"The legacy of division and segregation is still obvious in some communities, with physical barriers and interfaces providing a sense of security for families that live in their shadow," Mr Ford continued.
"However, there is a strong appetite for change, and I am determined to build upon the great work done in recent months. We will work with local communities to move away from an approach that sees safety through separation to safety through sharing."
Mr Ford was speaking at the launch where he met with young people from a local community safety project at the Seaview stadium which brings together at risk young people from across north Belfast through sport and workshops to address community safety issues.
He commented "The Seaview diversionary project is a fine example of local people working at grassroots level to build a safer community. Similar projects are happening in every part of Northern Ireland and all are making their contribution to breaking down barriers and building safer communities."