Newry, Mourne and Down District Council takes its responsibility to safeguard children and adults at risk very seriously.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council recognise the importance of collaboration with partner organisations in preventing harm promoting awareness and protecting people. To support this work we have partnered with Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Southern Health and Social Care Trust and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust to raise awareness of stalking and help anyone experiencing this by signposting them for appropriate support.
Stalking is a crime in Northern Ireland
Following the introduction of the ‘Protection from Stalking Act (Northern Ireland) 2022’, stalking is now recognised as a crime, with up to ten years imprisonment for the perpetrator.
What is stalking?
Stalking is a pattern of unwanted or repeated behaviour from an ex-partner, someone you know, or a stranger, that causes you to feel scared or distressed. It can cause intimidation and can have devastating outcomes in the most serious of cases.
Many people associate stalking as something experienced by those in the public eye and not by ‘ordinary’ people living ‘ordinary’ lives. However, according to the National Stalking Helpline, approximately 45% of people who contact them are being stalked by people they have previously been in a relationship with. A further one third will have had some prior acquaintance with their stalker.
Stalking can include:
- following, observing or spying on someone
- repeatedly going uninvited to someone’s home, school or work
- driving past the victim’s home or work
- checking someone’s internet use, email or other electronic communication
- hanging around somewhere they know the person often visits
- interfering with their property
- identity theft (signing-up to services, buying things in someone's name)
- non-consensual communication, such as repeated phone calls, emails, text messages, and unwanted gifts..
- cyber stalking – i.e. conduct or communication via electronic devices which are intended to distress or harass the victim. For example, sending or leaving unsolicited material/gifts, graffiti, and/or messages on social networking sites.
The four warning signs of stalking
If the behaviour you're experiencing is:
This is stalking if the unwanted behaviour has happened more than once.
Protection from Stalking Act (Northern Ireland) 2022
This act makes stalking a crime in Northern Ireland and shows people how to recognise and report stalking behaviour.
Stalking destroys lives.
If you feel that you - or someone you know – is a victim of stalking, help is available.
Who can help?
- National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300
- Call the police on 101
- In an emergency call 999
#BeSafeOnline 'Cyber Safety' Campaign
Keeping Your Kids Safe Online Starts With You!
As a parent/guardian or carer you play a key role in helping to keep your children to stay safe online.
Children’s use of the internet is becoming more mobile and interactive offering young people more opportunities to interact and meet new people, so it’s never been more important to make sure you are helping your child stay safe in the digital world.
You don’t need to be an expert on the internet or a social media whizz to help keep your kids stay safe online. Our practical advice and downloadable resources are here to support you as you support your kids to navigate the online risks-whether your kids are gaming, chatting, posting or streaming. Here are some top tips you can talk through with your children at anytime:
- Don’t share personal information like their phone number or email address online
- Only talk to real life friends or family if they are on sites with a social media element
- Explain that people they meet online might not be who they say they are
- Tell them to be a good online friend and not to say nasty things even if it’s just a joke
- Use secure and legal sites to download music and games
- Make sure they check with you before downloading any programs to avoid viruses
Want more help? Check out the extensive resources and Helpline numbers we have collated below including the NSPCC Helpline number.
You will also find helpful information for your children in the ‘Advice for Children and Young People’ section below.
Lets all play our part and keep our kids safe online. #BeSafeOnline
To report a concern about a child contact:
Southern Health and Social Care Trust: 028 3576 7100 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday) or Freephone from landlines only 0800 783 7745
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust: 0300 100 0300 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday)
Emergency Social Work Service (Regional): 028 9504 9999 (5pm-9am Monday to Friday, 24 hours Saturday/Sunday/Bank Holidays)
NSPCC Helpline Number: 0808 800 5000
For further information please visit:
Child Protection / Gateway Service | Southern Health & Social Care Trust (hscni.net)
Gateway Service | South Eastern HSC Trust (hscni.net)
Children and Young People's Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) Wellness Hub
Children and Young People's Strategic Partnership (CYSP) Resource Pack
For further information contact Gary Scott, Safeguarding Coordinator.
T: 07776 165 792
To view our Safeguarding leaflet click here.
The NMDDC Safe Place Initiative
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is committed to the principle that Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence is unacceptable behaviour and everyone has the right to live free from fear and abuse.
The Council has been working in partnership with Onus NI on the introduction of the Safe Place Initiative across key Council facilities in the district. The Safe Place Initiative was launched by Onus NI in 2011 and since then over 1700 organisations have registered as a Safe Place. The premise behind the initiative is that it allows any business, organisation, church, school or community group to provide a ‘Safe Place’ where anyone affected by domestic abuse can confidentially access information on the range of support services available to them.
Details of all fourteen Safe Place locations can be found below and all locations will display the Safe Place logo indicating that information on services for anyone affected by domestic violence and abuse is available at the specific site location.
The Safe Place locations across Newry, Mourne and Down District Council facilities are listed as follows:
1. Down Leisure Centre, 114 Market Street, Downpatrick BT30 6LZ
2. Kilkeel Leisure Centre Mourne Esplanade, Newry BT34 4DB
3. Newcastle Centre Complex 10-14 Central Promenade, Newcastle BT33 0AA
4. Newry Leisure Centre, 61 Patrick St, Newry BT35 8TR
5. Bessbrook Community Centre, Mill Road, Newry BT35 7DS
6. Cloughreagh Community Centre, Millvale Road, Newry BT35 7NH
7. Newry Town Hall Bank Parade, Newry BT35 6HP
8. Council Offices, O’Hagan House Monaghan Row, Newry BT35 8DJ
9. Kilbroney Park, Shore Road, Rostrevor BT34 3AA
10. Council Offices, Downshire Civic Centre, Ardglass Road, Downpatrick BT30 6GQ
11. Greenbank Industrial Estate, Unit 19 Greenbank Industrial Estate Rampart Road, Newry BT34 2QU
12. Crossmaglen Community Centre, Cardinal O'Fiaich Square, Newry BT35 9AA
13. Warrenpoint Town Hall, Church Street, Warrenpoint BT34 3HN
14. Ballynahinch Community Centre, 55 Windmill Street, Ballynahinch BT24 8HB