In September 2011, the Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium (BCRC) commissioned research to examine the development of community safety policy since the publication of the Patten report in 1999. The research was also tasked with considering the range of dynamics which impact upon participation in, and delivery of, community safety programmes within interface communities; while exploring challenges facing the new Policing and Community Safety Partnerships. Over a two month period between October and November in 2011, an extensive audit and analysis of policy documents, academic literature and research reports related to the development and implementation of community safety was conducted. Alongside this, thirty semi-structured interviews were carried out with representatives from the community, voluntary and statutory sector.The initial review of academic literature and policy highlighted a number of political developments which have positively influenced the community safety agenda – including the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in May 2007; and the devolution of policing and justice powers in April 2010. In this regard, several observations can be made in relation to the design and development of a community safety approach suited to the unique landscape of a society in transition:• The political, policing and security landscape over the past decade has had a direct impact and influence upon the delivery of a community safety model as originally envisaged by the Independent Commission for Policing in Northern Ireland;• Local communities have embraced the concept of community safety. However, levels of community participation in local initiatives have been inconsistent across the country;• There has been a degree of scepticism at the community level as to how much impact the community sector have historical had in relation to community safety and policing issues, especially when set against the influence of elected representatives and service providers;• Because of the ever-changing policing and security environment, it has been challenging for statutory bodies to deliver what might be considered ‘normal’ policing and community safety services;• The past decade has been predicated upon cultivating a more inclusive environment in which service and community providers can work together in delivering a community safety model suited to the needs of all stakeholders;• The next decade of community safety and policing is about building upon existing practice and partnerships, and aligning those with the DoJ’s new vision for safer, shared and confident communities.Aside from the literature review, four case studies were also selected to illustrate the range of community-based programmes and activities that have been established in both urban and rural settings to address the diversity of community safety issues across the country. This analysis revealed the importance of community participation in the successful delivery and implementation of community safety strategies, programmes and initiatives; the need for statutory agencies to be flexible in regards to the holistic nature of community responses to local issues beyond their own policy lens; and the significant role that the ‘community safety’ framework has in relation to facilitating and encouraging closer partnerships and positive engagements between communities and formal criminal justice providers. Building upon the case study findings and policy analysis, it became apparent that local community groups were involved in responding to, and providing a diverse range services to deal with community safety and policing issues. Indeed, a range of volunteers, community activists and (generally) under-resourced community-based organisations played a major role in bridging the gap between statutory service providers and communities through facilitating meetings, promoting advocacy and acting as facilitators for the implementation of the community safety agendas at a local level. A closer examination of their roles revealed a typology of community safety work and activity in which they were regularly engaged. These approaches have been categorised as follows:• Community advocacy• Education and intervention• Emergency response• Partnerships• Prevention• Mediation• Restorative justice The research concluded with a series of thirty interviews with representatives from the community, voluntary and statutory sectors. Discussions explored themes surrounding the implementation of community safety strategies within interface communities; participants’ experiences of DPPs and CSPs; and views on the new PCSPs and their potential. The findings revealed that interface communities had suffered disproportionately in terms of the legacy of the conflict in comparison to other urban and rural parts of Northern Ireland. Therefore, the implementation of a community safety agenda not only had to contend with high rates of social and economic deprivation, but also had to incorporate within it, manifestations of the conflict, such as sectarian violence, peace walls and insecurities around policing. The findings which related to DPPs and CSPs revealed a deep sense of frustration in terms of their general inability to address many of the community safety and policing issues prevalent at a community level. Respondents maintained that both sets of partnerships were not representative of the communities in which they served; often operated in isolation from community organising; and beyond pockets of good practice, had failed to meet the local communities needs or expectations around policing and community safety. There was an acknowledgement that the past decade had been difficult for statutory agencies tasked with implementing and delivering a policing and community safety agendas because of the fluid dynamics underpinning the country’s transition from conflict to peace. However, there was renewed optimism that the devolution of policing and justice powers, along with the political stability at Stormont would facilitate the successful delivery of an effective, new community safety model in line with the DoJ’s goal of creating safer, shared and confident communities.Finally, the research also captured views and opinions in relation to the forthcoming PCSPs. There was a general consensus that the new structures provided an opportunity to shape the future of community safety in Northern Ireland and build upon that which had been established though the DPPs and CSPs. As part of the ‘streamlining’ opportunity provided through the PCSPs, a number of challenges were evident from the research. These concerns primarily focused upon the management of the PCSPs structures; along with issues as to whether PCSPs could facilitate improved input and delivery from statutory and community stakeholders. Aside from immediate challenges, the research also highlighted the need to define more fully, the roles and responsibilities of community stakeholders. Indeed, a key concern was that the community safety strategy, as delivered through the vehicle of the PCSPs, would become a conduit for a wide range of governmental programmes of action without adequately considering the potential limitations of stakeholder input. But in general, there was a great sense of optimism about the amalgamation of DPPs and CSPs, with an acceptance that the first year of the PCSPs would be a period of transition and learning. In general, respondents acknowledged the complexities which underpinned the streamlining of the community safety and policing agendas in Northern Ireland which for a decade had been split between the DPPs and CSPs. And where the lessons from the last decade could be learned, it was felt that the PCSPs would provide an excellent vehicle through which a new era of community safety could be delivered into the next decade. In view of the research findings, a number of recommendations emerged which have been documented below:1. That greater consideration should be given to incentives for community involvement in community safety programmes. The research highlighted the difficulties with encouraging local participation in community safety processes. Therefore, training, internships, accredited courses, child care provision and accommodation of other family needs should be considered;2. Steps should be taken to more formally recognise and quantify the contributions of community-based community safety programmes – outside traditional police centric measure of crime;3. That sufficient acknowledgement and attention is paid to the continuing fragility surrounding the lives and experiences of those living in interface communities. It is imperative that future community safety agendas are tailored to meet those specific needs and not become subsumed under a broad community safety agenda;4. That innovative, less bureaucratic means of both providing funding and assessing the impact of community safety programmes must be developed outside the current parameters of statutory frameworks; 5. The inherent frustrations and difficulties associated with the DPPs and CSPs should be taken into account and the necessary adjustments as part of the functioning of the new PCSP structures;6. The DoJ’s community safety agenda should not overburden the PCSPs with too many programmes related to the social, economic and political development of commununities.
|Publisher||Belfast Conflict Resolution Consortium|
|Number of pages||103|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Apr 2012|
Bibliographical noteReference text: Acheson, N., Harvey, B., Kearney, J. and Williamson, A. (2004). Two Paths, One Purpose: Voluntary Action in Northern Ireland, North and South. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
Acheson, N., Williamson, A., Cairns, E. and Stringer, M. (2006). Voluntary Action and Community Relations in Northern Ireland. A Report of a Research Project funded by the Community Relations Council and the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
www.nicva.org/uploads/docs/CRC%20 report%20PDF1.pdf accessed 2/2/07
Altebeker, A. (2005). The Dirty Work of Democracy. Johannesburg: Jonathon Bell.
Anheiser, H. and Kendall, J. (2002). ‘Interpersonal Trust and Voluntary Associations: Examining Three Approaches’, British Journal of Sociology 53(3), pp.343-362.
Bayley, D. H. (2007). Police Reform on Your Doorstep: Northern Ireland the World. Seminar held at the Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, Jordanstown 19th February.
BBC (2011). ‘Activist Heckled Over PSNI Invite’, 10th November.
Belfast Telegraph (2006). ‘Threat to DPPs as Public Shuns Meetings’, 13th June.
Belfast Telegraph (2007a). ‘Bomb Bid DPP Man Considers Position’, 12th April.
Belfast Telegraph (2007b). ‘IMC Praises Sinn Fein Policing Commitment’, 31st January.
Belfast Telegraph (2007c). ‘Threat to Sinn Fein Councillors’, 22nd October.
Belfast Telegraph (2008a). ‘Civilians Targeted by Dissident Republicans’.
Belfast Telegraph (2008b). ‘Dissident Republicans Blamed for Gun Attack on Police’.
Belfast Telegraph (2008c). ‘Dissident Vowed to Kill Catholic Officer After McGuinness Visit’.
Belfast Telegraph (2010). ‘Dissident Threat Severe After MI5 Attack’.
Brewer, J. (2001). ‘The Growth, Extent and Causes of Crime: Northern Ireland’, in Shaw, M. (ed.) Crime and Policing in Transitional Societies Seminar Report. Johannesburg: KAS, pp.103-110.
Brogden, M. (1998). Two-Tiered Policing – A Middle Way for Northern Ireland.
www.cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/police/docs/demdial.htm accessed 1/4/2007
Brogden, M. (2000). ‘Burning Churches and Victim Surveys: The Myth of Northern Ireland as Low-Crime Society’, Irish Journal of Sociology 10, pp.27-48.
Brunger, M. (2011). From Police to Policing: Policing Reform in Northern Ireland and the Vision of Partnership (doctoral thesis). Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Byrne, J. and Monaghan, L. (2008). Policing Loyalist and Republican Communities. Belfast: Institute for Conflict Research.
Cairns, E., Van Til, J. and Williamson, A. (2003). Social Capital, Collectivism-Individualism and Community Background in Northern Ireland. A Report to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and the Head of the Voluntary and Community Unit of the Department for Social Development.
www.ofmdfm.gov.uk/socialcapital.pdf accessed 12/11/2006
Campbell, C., Ni Aolain, F. and Harvey, C. (2003). ‘The Frontiers of Legal Analysis: Reframing the Transition in Northern Ireland’, Modern Law Review 66(3), pp.317-345.
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (2006). Added Value? A Review of the Voluntary and Community Sectors’ Contribution to the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice System. Belfast: Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland.
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (2007a). Community Restorative Justice Ireland Report of Pre Inspection of Schemes in Belfast and the North West With a View to Accreditation Under the Government’s Protocol for Community Based Restorative Justice. Belfast: Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland.
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (2007b). Northern Ireland Alternatives Report of an Inspection with a View to Accreditation under the Government’s Protocol for Community Based Restorative Justice. Belfast: Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland.
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (2008). Community Restorative Justice Ireland Report of Pre Inspection. Belfast: Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland.
Criminal Justice Review Group, (2000). Review of the Criminal Justice System in
Northern Ireland. A Guide. Belfast: The Stationary Office.
Department of Justice (2011). Building Safer, Shared and Confident Communities: A Consultation on a New Community Safety Strategy for Northern Ireland. Belfast: Department of Justice.
Dupont, B. (2004). ‘Security in the Age of Networks’, Policing and Society 14(1), pp.76-91.
Edwards, A. (2011). When terrorism as strategy fails: Dissident Irish republicans and the threat to British security. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 34, pp.318-336.
Ellison, G. (2007). ‘A Blueprint for Democratic Policing Anywhere in the World: Police Reform, Political Transition, and Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland’, Police Quarterly 10(3), pp.243-269.
Ellison, G. and Mulcahy, A. (2001). ‘Policing and Social Conflict in Northern Ireland’, Policing and Society 11, pp.243-258.
Ellison, G., and O‘Rawe, M. (2010). ‘Security Governance in Transition: The Compartmentalising, Crowding Out and Corralling of Policing and Security in Northern Ireland‘, Theoretical Criminology 14(1), pp. 1-27.
Ellison, G and Shirlow, P (2008). Community attitudes to crime, anti-social behaviour and policing in the greater New Lodge. (Unpublished report).
Feenan, D. (2000). Community Safety: Partnerships and Local Government (Report to the Criminal Justice Review Group, Northern Ireland. No.13). London: The Stationery Office
Feenan, D. (2002). Community justice in conflict: Paramilitary punishment in Northern Ireland. In D. Feenan, (Ed.) Informal criminal justice. Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing pp. 41-60.
Frampton, M. (2010). The Return of the Militants: Violent Dissident Republicanism. London: ICSR.
Gormally, B. (2004). ‘Tough Questions on Community Policing from Northern Ireland’, Community Safety Journal 3(3), pp.23-30.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (2011). Police Service of Northern Ireland inspection findings. London: HMIC.
Holen, T. and Eide, E. (2000). Peace Building and Police Reform. London: Frank Cass.
Home Office (1997). Getting to Grips with Crime: A New Framework for Local Action: A Consultation Document, London, HMSO.
Home Office (2001). Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform, London, HMSO.
Home Office (2004). Building Safer Communities, Beating Crime, London, HMSO.
Home Office (2008). From The Neighbourhood to the National: Policing our Communities Together, London, HMSO.
Independent Monitoring Commission (2010). Twenty-third Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission. London: The Stationary Office.
Irish News (2008). ‘Bombers trying to kill officers: Detective’. 11th September, p.11.
Irish News (2009). ‘Real IRA Determined to Murder PSNI Officers’. 8th June, p.8
Jarman, N. (2002). Managing Disorder: Responding to Interface Violence in North Belfast. Belfast: Community Development Centre/Office of the First and Deputy First Minister.
Jarman, N. (2006). ‘Peacebuilding and Policing – The Role of Community Based Initiatives’, Shared Space: A Research Journal on Peace, Conflict and Community Relations in Northern Ireland 3, pp.31-44.
Kelling, G. (2005). ‘Community Crime Reduction: Activating Formal and Informal Control’, in Tilley, N. (ed.) Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety. Devon: Willan Publishing, pp.107-142.
Kearney, V. (2010). ‘Dissident Threat Level Increases’.
Accessed at BBC:
Kempa, M. and Shearing, C. (2005). ‘Post-Patten Reflections on Patten’, Public Lecture 8th June. Belfast, Queen’s University of Belfast.
Lundy, P. (2011). ‘Paradoxes and Challenges of Transitional Justice at the 'Local' level: Historical Enquiries in Northern Ireland’, Contemporary Social Science 6(1), pp.89-106.
Lyness, D., McEnarney, R. and Carmichael, M. (2004). Digest of Information On the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice System. Belfast: NIO.
McDonald, H. (2010). One in Seven Northern Ireland Nationalists Sympathise with Dissident Terrorists. The Guardian, 6th October.
McDonald, H. (2011). The Truth About Belfast Riots. The Guardian, 27th June.
McDonald, H. and Townsend, M. (2011). For Ireland’s Hardcore Dissidents ‘The Queen is a Legitimate Target. The Observer, 24th April.
McEvoy, K., Gormally, B. and Mika, H. (2002). ‘Conflict, Crime Control and the ‘Re’-Constitution of State-Community Relations in Northern Ireland’, in Hughes, G., McLauglin, E. and Muncie, J. (eds.) Crime Prevention and Community Safety: New Directions. London: Sage Publications, pp.182-212.
McGarry, J. and O’Leary, B. (1999). Policing Northern Ireland: proposals for a new start. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
McGloin, J. (2003). ‘Shifting Paradigms: Policing in Northern Ireland’, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategy and Management 26(1), pp.118-143.
Mika, H. (2006). Community Based Restorative Justice in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Queens University, Belfast / School of Law.
Moran, J. (2004). ‘Paramilitaries, Ordinary Decent Criminal and the Development of Organised Crime Following the Belfast Agreement’, International Journal of the Sociology of Law 32(3), pp. 263-278.
Morrow, D. (2006). ‘Sustainability in a Divided Society: Applying Social Capital Theory to Northern Ireland’, Shared Space: A Research Journal on Peace, Conflict and Community Relations in Northern Ireland 2, pp.63-79.
Mulcahy, A. (1999). Visions of Normality: Peace and the Reconstruction of Policing in Northern Ireland’, Social and Legal Studies 8(2), pp.277-295.
Mulcahy, A. (2000) .‘Policing History and the Official Discourse and Organisational Memory of the Royal Ulster Constabulary’, British Journal of Criminology 40, pp.68-87.
Mulcahy, A. (2006) Policing in Northern Ireland: Conflict, Legitimacy and Reform. Devon: Willan Publishing.
Mulcahy, A, and Ellison, G. (2001). ‘The Language of Policing and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Northern Ireland’, Policing and Society 11, pp.383-404.
Newburn, T. (2002). ‘Community Safety and Policing: Some Implications of the crime and Disorder Act 1998’ , in Hughes, G, McLaughlin, E, Muncie, J (eds.) (2002). Crime Prevention and Community safety: New Directions, Sage: The Open University.
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (2005). State of the Sector IV. Belfast: NICVA.
Northern Ireland Office (1993). Crime and the Community, Northern Ireland Office Discussion Paper. Belfast: NIO
Northern Ireland Office (2001). The Criminal Justice Review: Secretary of State’s Implementation Plan. London: HMSO.
Northern Ireland Office (2008b). Together, Safer, Stronger: Community Safety in Northern Ireland: A consultation paper. Belfast: Northern Ireland Office/Community Safety Unit.
Northern Ireland Office (2009). Local Partnership Working on Policing and Community Safety: A Way Forward: A consultation paper. Belfast: Northern Ireland Office.
Northern Ireland Policing Board (2007a). Reflections on District Policing Partnerships. Belfast: Northern Ireland Policing Board.
Northern Ireland Policing Board (2007b). Research into Recent Crime Trends in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Ipsos MORI.
Northern Ireland Policing Board (2010). Perceptions of the police, The DPPs, and the Northern Ireland Policing Board. Belfast: Northern Ireland Policing Board.
Northern Ireland Policing Board and Police Service of Northern Ireland (2007). Policing Plan 2007-2010. Belfast: NIPB.
O’Mahony, D., Geary, R., McEvoy, K. and Morison, J. (2000). Crime, Community and Locale: The Northern Ireland Communities Crime Survey. Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing Company.
O’Rawe, M. (2003). ‘Transitional Policing Arrangements in Northern Ireland: The Can’t and Won’t of Change Dialect’, Fordham International Law Journal 22, pp.1015-1073.
Office of the First and Deputy First Minister (2006). Social Capital Analysis of the 2003/4 Continuous Household Survey. Belfast: NISRA/OFMDFM.
Office of the Oversight Commissioner (2006). Overseeing the Proposed Revisions for the Policing Services in Northern Ireland Report 18. Belfast: Office of the Oversight Commissioner.
Office of the Oversight Commissioner (2007). Overseeing the Proposed Revisions for the Policing Services of Northern Ireland Report 19. Belfast: Office of the Oversight Commissioner.
Owen, J. and Dutta, K. (2011). ‘More People Go Armed as Ulster Dissident Threat Grows’. The Independent, 5th June.
Perry, R., Gillespie, D. and Parker, H. (1976). Social Movements and Local Community. Sage Research Papers in the Social Sciences (Social Ecology of the Community Series, No. 90-037). Beverly Hills and London: Sage Publications.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (2010b). Statistics Relating to the Security Situation 1st April 2009 -31st March 2010: Statistical report No. 5.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (2011). Personal, Protective, Professional Policing - What Do You Want From Your Police Service?.
Report of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland (1999). A New Beginning: Policing in Northern Ireland. Belfast: HMSO (The Patten Report).
Royal Ulster Constabulary (1996). A Fundamental Review of Policing. Belfast: Royal Ulster Constabulary.
Shaw, M. and Shearing, C. (1998). ‘Reshaping Security: An examination of the Governance of Security in South Africa’, African Security Review 7(3), pp.3-12.
Shearing, C. (2000). ‘A New Beginning’ for Policing’, Journal of Law and Society 27(3), pp. 386-393.
Shirlow, P., Graham B., McEvoy, K., Oh Adhmaill, F. and Purvis, D. (2005). Politically Motivated Former Prisoner Groups: Community Activism and Conflict Transformation. A Research Report Submitted to the Community Relations Council.
Shirlow, P. and Murtagh, B. (2006). Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City. London: Pluto Press.
Squires, P, (2006). Community Safety: Critical Perspectives on Policy and Practice, Polity Press.
Topping, J. R. (2008a). ‘Community Policing in Northern Ireland: A Resistance Narrative’, Policing and Society 18(4), pp.377-398.
Topping, J. R. (2008b). ‘Diversifying From Within: Community Policing and the Governance of Security in Northern Ireland’, British Journal of Criminology 48(6), pp. 778-797.
Topping, J. R. (2009). Beyond the Patten report: The Governance of Security in Policing with the Community (doctoral thesis). University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.
Topping, J. R. and Byrne, J. (2012). ‘Paramilitary Punishments in Belfast: Policing Beneath the Peace’, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression (forthcoming – DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19434472.2011.631349)
Van Dijk, J.J.M., Mayhew, P. and Killias, M. (1990). Experiences of Crime Across the World: Key Findings from the 1989 International Crime Survey. Denenter: Kluwer Law and Taxation.
Walker, C. (1990). ‘Police and Community in Northern Ireland’, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 41, pp.105-142.
Weitzer, R. (1992). ‘Northern Ireland’s Police Liaison Committees’, Policing and Society 2, pp.233-243.
- Community safety
- Northern Ireland
- Policing and Community Safety Partnerships