Shock violent crime figures

In the past year there have been 1,110 reported incidents of violence and sexual offences in the Lurgan area.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Portadown there were 866 incidents reported to the PSNI, while in Banbridge police dealt with 412 such incidents.

The figures were revealed by DUP MLA Sydney Anderson, who expressed his concerns.

Mr Anderson said, “I am greatly alarmed to learn of the severely high number of incidents of violence and sexual assaults that have been reported to the PSNI over a 12-month period. Shockingly, over 2,700 such incidents were dealt with by the police between September 2014 and September 2015. Figures such as this cannot be swept under the carpet and the community as a whole has a role to play to reduce the level of violent and sexual offences.

“Ultimately, the soaring level of such incidents is putting severe pressure on policing provision but also accident and emergency departments as doctors have to deal with the injuries inflicted on individuals when they become the victim of an assault. On top of this, the victims can be left scarred for life with their families also experiencing much distress as they try and help their loved one recover after an attack.

“The high level of these offences that are taking place within the constituency is inflicting lasting and real damage on the local area and we cannot afford to simply turn a blind eye.”

Mr Anderson added, “It is vital that the community as a whole unite together to fight these problems head on. In particular the PSNI, the new ABC Policing and Community Safety Partnership, local community groups and local neighbourhood watch organisations have an important duty to challenge such incidents of violence and sexual offences that are taking 

“I know that the PSNI in the area have done much work to fight such problems.

“However, it is now imperative that they continue to do all they can to tackle the issue head on.”