Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Plea for vigilance after woman is gang-raped on the Lagan towpath

Police are investigating after a reported rape in Co Antrim.

A councillor has warned women to be vigilant after a 20-year-old was raped by three men on the Lagan towpath.

The incident happened near Lisburn's Moors Bridge at around 6.30pm on September 9, but police only released details of it yesterday, a week after it happened.

Lisburn SDLP councillor and Community Safety Partnership member Patrick Catney said he will be raising the issue at a CSP meeting tonight.

"I was disgusted when I heard about this horrendous crime and we are all devastated across the political divide. I have enquired after how the young lady is.

"I'm sure police had their reasons for only releasing the details of this crime now, but information like this needs to be put into the public domain as quickly as possible.

"I urge anyone walking in that area to be vigilant.

"I have a 20-year-old daughter myself and there is no way I will allow her to walk or run along the towpath until these perpetrators are caught.

"It is a disgrace that a few individuals can erase a lot of the good work that is carried out in a community to make it safe.

"Women should not have to live in fear, though, and should be able to run or walk along the towpath, so I urge anyone with information to come forward," he added.

A PSNI spokeswoman said she could not reveal why it took a week for the information to be released.

The spokeswoman said investigating detectives are keen to speak to a woman who was walking on the towpath with a golden Labrador and accompanied by a boy approximately 15 years old who was on a bicycle.

They would also like to speak to an elderly man with grey hair and wearing tinted glasses and two male joggers who were both wearing neon jackets.

Anyone who may have been in the Lagan towpath area at this time is urged to contact detectives at the Rape Crime Unit at Ladas Drive on 028 9070 0305.

Police can also be contacted on 0845 600 8000 or information can be provided anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity by calling 0800 555 111.

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