Justice Minister Paul Goggins Writes for the Daily Mirror
'LIKE other Mirror readers, I know what it's like to be a victim of crime.
Ironically, the last time it happened I was the Home Office Minister with responsibility for prisons and the probation service in Great Britain.
When my wife phoned to tell me that we had been burgled I was actually on my way to 10 Downing Street to brief the Prime Minister on Government plans to cut crime and rehabilitate offenders.
Needless to say it was more than a paper exercise!
I went through the same range of emotions as anyone else in those circumstances - shock, anxiety for my family, anger that someone had invaded our home.
And they took personal items that were simply irreplaceable.
So as well as having ministerial responsibility for policing and criminal justice here, I have my own very personal reasons to be right behind everyone who is working to combat crime.
And that is what these awards are all about.
Ordinary people living in local communities who are trying to make Northern Ireland a safer place for everyone.
This year's criminal justice awards recognise those individuals who have made their neighbourhood a better place to live, by taking a stand against crime and addressing the needs of victims.
The awards acknowledge and pay special thanks to those people working at the heart of our communities - including volunteers - who have shown a level of bravery or dedication in ensuring that justice is done.
I want to thank the Daily Mirror for telling some of the personal stories of Northern Ireland's exceptional people doing jobs which have really made a difference. …