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Tuesday, 6 August, 2002, 06:34 GMT 07:34 UK
Drive to cut car crime
Nearly 11,000 vehicles were stolen during 2000/2001
Nearly 11,000 vehicles were stolen during 2000/2001
A new drive to cut car crime has been launched in Northern Ireland.

It is an initiative by an umbrella organisation calling itself Impact (The inclusive Model of Partnership against car theft) which was set up last October.

The group aims to reduce car crime and related incidents by targeting those involved or who are vulnerable to getting involved in such activity.

It wants to recruit mentors for persistent offenders in an attempt to reduce their offending.

Car radio
More than 5,000 thefts have taken place from vehicles

More than 20 people have been killed by car thieves in Northern Ireland.

The organisation says that during 2000/20001 there were nearly 11,000 vehicles stolen in Northern Ireland and more than 5,000 thefts from vehicles.

In the same year, about 2,000 cars were stolen from west Belfast.

The project aims to reduce by 10% the number of cars stolen and recovered in this area.

Impact offers education programmes in schools and youth clubs and provides preventative programmes of work targeted at those vulnerable to involvement in car crime.

A spokesman for Impact said: "Impact is making a commitment to provide a determined and tenacious response to this serious problem.

"We are now seeking determined and tenacious volunteers to assist in this work and make a positive contribution to a better life for all people in Northern Ireland."

Rally

Hundreds of young people have already completed Impact programmes.

The Fire Brigade says it has a 40% reduction in the number of call-outs to deal with car fires in the greater Belfast area.

Last Thursday, several hundred people attended a rally calling for tougher action against car thieves in west Belfast.

Demonstrators walked through the Lenadoon estate where three people have been killed by so-called joyriders in recent years.

Earlier this year, the campaigners met with the Prime Minister Tony Blair who pledged that the Northern Ireland Office would work with them.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Daniel Crozier:
"Already the Fire Brigade has experienced a 40% reduction in the number of call outs to deal with car fires"
See also:

02 Aug 02 | N Ireland
10 Jun 02 | N Ireland
11 May 02 | N Ireland
11 Oct 01 | N Ireland
Links to more N Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


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