Belfast Telegraph

In Pictures: Eight suspects sought by police in city centre crime crackdown

By Deborah McAleese

Police are hunting for these eight people in a crackdown on serious crime in Belfast city centre.

Officers would like to speak to the six men and two women about two assaults, a burglary and a robbery in the city last year.

Superintendent Nigel Goddard, the PSNI’s operational manager for Belfast, said that police had decided to release the images following an increase in violent crime in the city centre over the past year and a decrease in police detection rates.

CCTV images of people officers would like to speak to in relation to unsolved crimes have been published as part of a new police tactic to make Belfast safer.

Mr Goddard said the decision to publish the images was taken following an 11% increase in non-domestic violent crimes — 220 more incidents — across Belfast over the past 12 months.

During that time there were more than 2,000 recorded incidents.

The majority of the increase is connected to the night-time economy, Mr Goddard said.

“It is clearly the effect of too much alcohol. When we look at our analysis we have seen increases of violent crime and other offences at certain locations which we would link to drink promotion nights offering very cheap drink,” he said.

The four main trouble hotspots identified by police are: Donegall Square, Bradbury/Shaftesbury Square, The Odyssey and Dunbar Link/Tomb Street.

“We spoke to other forces about what they are doing differently to us to tackle this. They use the help of the public through publishing images. That is what we are going to do here to get the public more involved in identifying people who have been involved in violent crime.

“If you think that you can turn up in Belfast on a Friday or Saturday night, have far too much to drink, get yourself involved in a fight or other serious crime and that there will be no consequences, that won’t be the case because we will come and look for you,” said Mr Goddard.

He added: “We have got excellent CCTV facilities that cover the key points of the city.

“Once we have exhausted all avenues when trying to identify a person, we will be releasing these images publicly.

“People can’t come into town here, have a fight and think they will get away with it.

“Someone out there will know who they are. This is about keeping Belfast safe and keeping people safe.”

If you have any information about the people above, call the police on 0845 600 8000 and quote the relevant serial number.

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