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Community Safety and Sport

Sport can, and has been used as a means to, improve community safety, not simply through time-bound diversionary programmes, but through sustainable capacity building and community development initiatives. 

The Sports Council for Northern Ireland is keen to encourage innovative partnership working within sports development and recognises that community safety is one such arena within which sport can contribute to the broader objectives, while at the same time benefiting local sport.


Community Safety is about delivering local solutions to local problems that have been identified by local people.

The Community Safety Unit is the central co-ordinating body for community safety in Northern Ireland.

It’s roles and functions are:

  • Developing a community safety strategy for Northern Ireland;
  • Influencing other Government Departments’ policies;
  • Providing information, guidance and advice to local community safety partnerships;
  • Funding projects that assist the meeting of central Government crime reduction targets;
  • Funding local projects and new and innovative projects;
  • Forging relationships with those dealing with community safety in other countries; and
  • Advising Ministers on community safety issues.

The definition:

 “Community safety means preventing, reducing or containing the social, environmental and intimidatory factors which affect people’s right to live without fear of crime and which impact upon their quality of life. It includes preventative measures that contribute to crime reduction and tackle anti-social behaviour.”

Community Safety Partnerships

It’s widely acknowledged that improvements in community safety cannot be delivered by one single agency.  Instead, there has been a trend for people from different sectors to come together to tackle the negative impact that crime, concern about crime and other safety issues have on everybody's quality of life.

Throughout Northern Ireland, Community Safety Partnerships have been established to strategically address these issues of concern.   The Coomunity Safety Unit website has contact details and more information on the activity of each of the local partnerships

Why this model? 
Northern Ireland’s Community Safety Strategy identifies the structures for delivering community safety. It recommends the use of Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) which are based on District Council areas.  The Strategy states that Local Councils are well placed to fulfil a leadership and co-ordination role in view of the many networks that they already have in place with other key local service providers. These Partnerships represent a real opportunity to make a difference to the quality of life for many people, through a joined up approach and through targeting resources at a local level in response to identified problems.

The Strategy suggests the following three tier model for local Community Safety Partnerships.

1.  Strategic Tier
T o commit service delivery organisations, ensure links to other strategies, and agree and review local action plans

2.  Operational Tier

T o devise, deliver and implement the local action plan for community safety.

3.  Task Groups
T o take responsibility for specific parts of the action plan eg. specific issues or specific areas within the district.

Most CSPs have chosen a locally appropriate model for their area, which may or may not incorporate all three tiers.



Following initial discussions between the Sports Council for Northern Ireland and the Community Safety Unit, we would encourage all sports development officers working in local councils, community/voluntary organisations etc to make contact with their local Community Safety Partnership co-ordinator (details available via www.communitysafetyni.gov.uk).


For more information on the Community Safety Unit, contact…


Community Safety Unit
4th Floor
Millenium House
Great Victoria Street


028 90828555


[email protected]








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Last modified: Friday September 02, 2020.