Two of Belfast’s most vibrant and historical districts, the Cathedral Quarter and Linen Quarter, have today announced a joint partnership that will see two dedicated Police Service of Northern Ireland constables patrol the areas at agreed times.
The initiative, dubbed Belfast’s #StreetBeat, will see two PSNI officers patrol the areas’ cafés, bars, restaurants and hotel filled streets during the busy afternoons and evenings. The team will split their time between the two districts. As part of the new initiative, both officers will receive a dedicated mobile phone, meaning business owners in both Quarters will be able to reach their assigned constable directly.
Gareth Neill, Cathedral Quarter BID Manager, said: “Destination CQ BID is committed to ensure that Cathedral Quarter and Smithfield remains a safe and enjoyable destination and great place to work, visit and invest in. By introducing additional security measures and working closely with key partners, we aim to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and provide our business community with the best levels of support & advice.
“This is a direct call to action from the businesses so, we’re delighted to have secured this from September 2019. Additional PSNI officers sends out an extremely strong message about our commitment towards tackling crime and improving perceptions of safety, no matter what time of day people visit. The CQ Street Beat officers will give businesses a recognisable face in the locality who you will be able to liaise with directly and enhance the current Police service provision in the City Centre.”
Chris McCracken, Managing Director at Linen Quarter BID added: “The additional police presence is part of our commitment to support Belfast’s vibrant evening economy, including the 50 hotels and hospitality venues already located in the Linen Quarter. LQ Street Beat will enhance policing around the Transport Hub providing friendly advice and assurance to visitors and commuters alike; and will adopt a problem-solving approach alongside a range of agencies to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour throughout the District.”
“Our new police team represents an important partnership between the Linen and Cathedral Quarter BIDs and the PSNI – a good example of how the business community and police can work together to deliver a safer Belfast.”
Chief Superintendent Jonathan Roberts, Belfast District Commander said: “Our two dedicated officers, who will be supported by local and neighbourhood policing teams, will work in close partnership with the business, retail, education and leisure sectors in the Linen and Cathedral Quarters. Regular engagement with Linen Quarter BID and Destination CQ will ensure we are focused on addressing agreed needs and priorities, maximising police visibility and building trusted collaboration.
“Challenging all forms of anti-social behaviour, addressing illegal street trading and signposting vulnerable people to appropriate support are just some examples of the work that will take place.”
Rajesh Rana, Director of Andras Hotels and President of Belfast Chamber said: “With a wealth of cultural and hospitality businesses throughout the beautiful Linen and Cathedral Quarters, this new partnership will mean that visitors can enjoy themselves knowing that help is close by should they need it. We commend both BIDs for their initiative in working together with PSNI and key stakeholders to keep safety a priority.”
LQ and CQ BIDs work to help shape the regeneration and improvement of their districts. The BIDs actively promote greater public and private investment, but also advocate a much greater focus on liveability, with new public spaces and squares, improved residential development, and greater priority for walking, cycling, and public transport.