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Alarming increase in South Belfast crime rates – Vincent Parker

29 September, 2008

South Belfast DPP member Vincent Parker, has expressed his concern after the reporting of increased crime rates in South Belfast, over the last reported quarter.

Overall crimes recorded are increasing and the incidents of burglary and sexual offences have increased, 64.6% and 34.7%, respectively. The PSNI clearance rates for South Belfast are a shockingly low 15.8%.

The Sinn Fein Balmoral Representative and South Belfast DPP member said,

"I am alarmed at the rise in crime rates for South Belfast, as reported in last weeks DPP meeting. I am particularly concerned at the 64.6% increase in domestic burglary. The PSNI must tackle this issue more effectively and i hope that they will present a decrease in the next quarterly report to the DPP. I don't accept that the reporting methodology can be used as an excuse, as it has been done so by the PSNI at last weeks DPP meeting. This statistic is particularly worrying for those vulnerable people in our community, who feel isolated and unsafe in their own homes. The PSNI have a duty to provide a safer environment for all the citizens of South Belfast, and this increase in crime rates does not bode well for their overall performance."

Commenting on the increase in sexual offences by 36.7% over the last reported quarter, he said,

"This statistic is alarming and the increase does not provide comfortable reading for those in our community that are vulnerable. I don't accept the Area Commanders' position that the "community in South Belfast should be reassured by these figures", by pointing out that the increase equals more resources into detecting these crimes. I feel it just highlights the general trend of increased crime rates across south Belfast, including burglary, incidents of anti-social behaviour, sexual offences, and a huge 91% increase in fraud and forgery incidents. "

"Also, the clearance rate reported was 15.8%, which is not acceptable and must be improved. The PSNI must tackle this crime surge head on and ensure that south Belfast is a safer place for its residents and visitors." ENDS

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