Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Hopes for CCTV clue in hunt for man who raped 16-year-old girl

Police in Belfast were last night trawling through CCTV film in a bid to catch the man who raped a 16-year-old girl.

The teenager was jumped on by a man in the Springfield Road area in the west of the city on Monday night.

Police said she was subjected to a serious sexual assault by an unknown assailant in an alleyway off Springfield Drive at around 9pm.

Chief Inspector Amanda Cook appealed for people in the local community help the investigation.

“The trawl through all CCTV footage is one line of inquiry detectives are taking. There are also a couple of shops in the vicinity that were open, as well as a Chinese restaurant and small newsagent's.

“Anyone who was visiting any of these last night may have a wee snippet of information that may help us,” she said.

Police said the attacker was young, about 5ft 6in tall, and wearing a white hooded top and dark tracksuit bottoms.

Sinn Féin Councillor Marie Cush described the attack as “utterly deplorable”.

“I want to send my thoughts and those of my party to the victim of this vicious attack,” she said.

“I want to call on anyone with any information regarding this attack to bring it forward to either the West Belfast Community Safety Partnership or the PSNI immediately.

“I would call on women to show caution in light of this attack and take extra care.”

SDLP Lower Falls representative Margaret Walsh also condemned the attack as “horrifying”

“Woman should take all precautions and travel in pairs until the people who carried out this assault are apprehended,” she said.

Police have said their enquiries are still at an early stage but are appealing for anyone who was in the area between 8pm and 10pm or who witnessed anything to contact them on 0845 600 8000.

SDLP West Belfast Assembly Member Alex Attwood added: “The local community must now work closely with the police and every shred of evidence must be handed over to the PSNI.

“The SDLP will be meeting with police chiefs in Belfast next week to discuss the revelation that, after a review of policing in north and west Belfast, no extra full-time police officer was deployed in either area.

“This latest attack proves the need to get policing numbers right.”

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