Belfast Telegraph

Call for calm as second Lurgan stabbing victim remains critical

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly
SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

A Policing Board member has voiced fears over a rise in knife crime following a second serious stabbing in Lurgan.

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly said the escalation is "a cause for real concern". A man in his 20s was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after a stabbing in the early hours of yesterday morning.

It happened in the Shankill Street area. The PSNI said: "We received a report just after 1.15am that a man, aged in his 20s, had sustained a stab wound. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

"We are working to establish a motive for the incident and would appeal to anyone with information, or who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area, to get in touch on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 100 of 22/04/19 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

It followed an incident where a 15-year-old girl was stabbed on Good Friday.

Mrs Kelly said the issue of knife crime had previously been raised with Chief Constable George Hamilton.

She said the community in Lurgan had been shocked by the two stabbing incidents.

"This serious escalation in knife crimes in the area is a cause for real concern and I know that people here are afraid," she said.

"I would appeal to everyone in the area to remain calm.

"We need to avoid a spiral of violent crime that makes this situation worse."

Mrs Kelly said she would continue to raise the issue of knife crime before it gets out of control.

"There is no excuse for carrying a knife or blade in public. Not only is it a criminal offence, it increases the carrier's risk of becoming the victim of knife crime," she added.

"I have previously raised this issue with senior police officers and will continue to raise it through the Policing Board."

The Belfast Telegraph reported last month how PSNI figures revealed that 778 serious knife offences were recorded in Northern Ireland last year.

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