Linen Quarter BID has announced that it has partnered with Belfast City Council to offer its member businesses and organisations free personal safety alarms, provided by the Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP). The initiative is being rolled out to businesses and organisations city-wide, including more than 400 based in the Linen Quarter and it is hoped it will support employers to prioritise staff safety. A positive response is already emerging with over 200 alarms requested and distributed by LQ BID so far this January.
Personal safety alarms can be carried by person in their hand or on their keys in an accessible pocket and are designed to let off a loud, siren-like alarm intended to shock and disorientate an attacker, giving the victim an opportunity to escape. The alarms offered by LQ BID are also designed to easily detach from a keyring once activated, so the user does not need to leave their keys behind.
Councillor Sarah Bunting, Chair of the PCSP, said: “Community safety continues to be a primary focus for the Council, and we are committed to working in partnership with the relevant authorities and organisations to identify and prioritise issues of concern and deliver practical solutions. We would encourage all organisations to be proactive when it comes to the personal safety of their staff, and whilst we appreciate that offering personal alarms to staff is just one way of addressing and deterring crime, we hope that this initiative will help people across the city to feel safe and supported.
“The response thus far is really encouraging, and this renewed call to action to request alarms for staff is an opportunity for businesses to prioritise employee safety. We thank the Policing and Community Safety Partnership, and the city’s BIDs for their support in delivering this important initiative.”
LQ BID hopes that by working pro-actively with its various city partners on safety measures, it can play a part in helping to address and prevent common issues such as crime and anti-social behaviour, making the bustling Linen Quarter an even safer district for all who work in or visit it.
Chris McCracken, Managing Director of LQ BID, said: “Every effort should be made to ensure that people, especially women, feel safe. Whilst we appreciate that offering personal safety alarms is not a solution to wider systemic issues, they are an effective tool and are endorsed by our police service as deterrents.
“LQ BID is determined to keep playing our part in a safer city, and we recognise that partnership is critical so we are gladly delivering this initiative to our members on behalf of Belfast City Council and the Policing and Community Safety Partnership.”
As part of its Street Beat initiative with PSNI, LQ BID has also delivered an enhanced policing service that includes a presence from community-focused officers that understand the district, and the various concerns of businesses including employee safety, damage, theft, anti-social behaviour.
Chris continued: “Our on-going engagement with the Department of Infrastructure has led to improved lighting and we have also made a commitment to deliver additional CCTV. We regularly work with the police to collect victim impact statements, and all three Belfast BIDs have engaged with the Court Service to request that crimes are dealt with more robustly not only to bring justice but to deter perpetrators too.”
LQ BID members can place an order for and arrange delivery of personal safety alarms by emailing [email protected]. For more information on LQ BID and to become a member, visit linenquarter.org.