Antrim Town Councillor Noel Maguire has expressed extreme disappointment at Justice Minister David Ford’s refusal to support funding for Antrim PCSP’s much needed Community Safety Wardens Scheme.
Cllr. Maguire said the local wardens scheme has proved “both effective in reducing crime, and the fear of crime”.
“Antrim PCSP’s moderate budget cannot sustain the additional cost to maintain the scheme. Further, I do not accept the Minister’s suggestion that Antrim’s ratepayers should carry that burden,” Cllr. Maguire said.
He added: “For Antrim PCSP to absorb the cost we would require cutbacks in other services they deliver and this is just not an option.
“I would again appeal to the Minister to reconsider. I would go as far as to suggest adopting the wardens scheme for mainstream provision and funding.
“Further, I suggest that his department should seriously consider the hidden benefits of the scheme in respect of the savings to emergency services including police, fire and our overstretched local hospital. Indeed he should consider the real savings to his department in preventing our most marginalised young people getting drawn into the criminal justice system.”