Holidays – Protect your home!

Dear Resident,

With many of us jetting off for the sunshine over the next few weeks, no one wants to return home to find it has been burgled.

Unfortunately, burglaries increase this time of year, partially because windows are left open due to the hot weather, but also because houses are left vacant.

The PSNI have released a number of simple steps that can be taken to prevent your home from becoming a target for thieves.

  • Remember to cancel milk, newspaper or other deliveries;
  • Make your home look like someone is living in it, don’t leave curtains closed and use timer switches to turn some lights on when it is dark;
  • Cut the grass before you leave and trim any hedges that obscure your house, so your home can be seen;
  • Get a friend or relative to keep an eye on your house and prevent post from piling up;
  • Lock important documents and valuable items in a safe place or use the bank;
  • Do not put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination;

Also, ensure you set alarms, using light timer switches and that windows and doors are locked.

You can also notify Police that you are away and be added to the ‘Vacant Properties List’. Just call 101 and ask to be put through to Lisburn Road Police Station.

As ever stay safe

Many thanks,

Dr Andrew Charles
Old Stranmillis (Road) Residents’ Association

OSRA and the associated NW Group are run voluntarily.
If you are not a member of OSRA you can join for £5 per year, per household.

Donations to support OSRA in its work are also gratefully received. See here for more information.

Thank you



Policing and Community Safety Partnership

South Belfast District Policing and Community Safety Partnership invite you to attend the following public meeting:

Confidence to Report to Police

7pm, Wednesday 21st February 2018

Holiday Inn, Hope Street, Belfast


1.    Welcome and Introductions to South Belfast DPSCP’s Policing Committee’s Membership and Role

2.    What gets reported to PSNI in South Belfast?

3.    Does the crime map show the picture you would expect?

4.    What doesn’t get reported to PSNI? Is it reported somewhere else?

5.    Why do people not report to PSNI?

6.    What can be done to encourage reporting to PSNI.

If you are able to attend please contact: or alternatively telephone 028 90 270 537

PDF Version of invite

Children’s Playpark

Dear Resident,

I am aware of an anonymous flyer (attached) being circulated in the local area as well as another from Cllr Declan Boyle regarding an idea for a local Children’s Playpark being located on the land alongside the end Sharman Road (Lagan Valley Regional Park side).

I have been receiving a number of emails over the weekend about this idea.

I wish to make clear that this is an idea, nothing more, nothing less. There is no formal provision for this and I appreciate that there are concerns. I note the objections that I have received and have responded to most of them as best I can.

I do not know who the author of the flyer (attached) is, as they remain anonymous, for whatever reason. However, please be aware that these concerns have been noted and recorded.

This is an idea which was suggested to Cllr Boyle in his role as a local representative for the area, which he, in turn, consulted me about, and which in turn you as local residents are being consulted about. Those who have contacted me by email have made their views clear, for which I thank you for.

However, I wanted to highlight a number of points:

  1. There is an online survey on the idea available at or alternatively visit I urge you, if you have not already, to complete this survey in order to establish an overall opinion.
  2. Some residents’ have highlighted concerns about antisocial behaviour, namely two types: drugs and youths drinking. I and others are aware of these issues and working with the Police to mitigate them as best as possible. Local residents’ have been instrumental in securing the search and arrests of persons suspected of drug dealing. In fact, due to the actions of one resident, a male was arrested by Police in and around Christmas Eve with a quantity of illegal drugs. Nevertheless, given the nature of this problem (which is NI-wide), it is not going to go away anytime soon. The drug dealers basically move on, then return. It’s a vicious cycle and not unique to Stranmillis.I feel it pertinent to highlight that the issues over youths drinking and misbehaving do not feature prominently in Police Statistics. While there are reports from looking at the Police Crime Statistics Map (see: Road/crime/), they do not feature as prominently as I would have been led to believe. That is not to say that it is not happening, but if you see a group of youths with beatboxes and alcohol please lift the phone and report it. This is the ONLY way we can guarantee a Police response and have it evidenced. If it is not reported it never happened as far as the authorities are concerned.The onus is therefore on us all to call Police on 101.
  3. I want to reiterate that this is an idea for which your opinion is greatly appreciated, and one, as any, of which there will always be a range of views on. A Playpark is not going to be built tomorrow, next week, or next month. In fact, it may never happen as there is currently no funding in place for it. It is an idea for which feedback is being sought to see if there is any basis of support for it.Some residents who have emailed me have referred to the development across the Lagan, which includes a bridge. Work on site has and will begin this month. Issues have been identified and raised about the consultation process over this development and are being connected in with the idea of a Children’s Playpark. The two issues are entirely separate and unrelated as the idea of a Playpark is an idea, which was suggested to Cllr Boyle by some residents, who in turn is working in conjunction with the wider community to see if it is a ‘runner’. I for one welcome this approach, as it is the way it should be done, and if there is no support for it, there is no support for it and it falls.

In conclusion, I thank those of you who have taken the time to email me. Please ensure you complete the online survey if you have not already done so.

Many thanks,

Dr Andrew Charles
Old Stranmillis (Road) Residents’ Association



Community Survey

Dear Resident,
OSRA is undertaking an online survey in relation to community safety issues in the area, funded by South Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
The Survey can be accessed via: 
The survey will be closed in approximately one months time, data collated and analysed to be presented at a meeting of the Association at the end of September.
I would therefore encourage you to participate, it is anonymous, and the results will be fed back to the PSNI and South Belfast PCSP.
Thank you in anticipation,
Kindest regards,
Dr Andrew Charles
Old Stranmillis (Road) Residents’ Association



Welcome to the homepage of the Old Stranmillis (Road) Residents’ Association (or OSRA).

This association was established in 2005 to promote the interests of residents’ in the area, to promote positive and lasting community relations and a strong sense of community identity.

Our aim is to help others help each other by putting people in contact with the right people and by creating a communication channel between local political representatives and statutory bodies.

This website was developed with the support of South Belfast DPCSP: