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Concerns raised around a rise in knife crime after five stabbed in Belfast

Man also held as concerns voiced over latest 'horrific' knife crime

Concerns have been raised around a rise in knife crime after five people were injured in a "horrific" stabbing incident in north Belfast in the early hours of Wednesday.

Police said they received a report just after 2am that a woman had been stabbed and a man had been attacked in the vicinity of York Street in the city.

When police arrived at the scene, the ambulance service were already in attendance. Four women reported sustaining injuries as a result of being stabbed. A man aged in his twenties also sustained a minor injury to his hand.

Two of the women, one aged in her teens and the other aged in her twenties, were taken to hospital for treatment to their injuries. The other two women, aged in their twenties, were treated at the scene.

Two women, aged 26 and 27-years-old were subsequently arrested on suspicion of a number of offences, including attempted murder and wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

A 20-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and attempted grievous bodily harm with intent.

DUP councillor Dean McCullough said he had been contacted by local residents who were left distressed at the "horrific" sight of blood on the streets.

He said he was working to establish what actually had been the cause of the incident and whether it involved people from the local area.

The DUP man also expressed concern at a rise in the number of knife related incidents in north Belfast.

"It's reprehensible, people from the local area were very concerned as to why this happened and how it could take place on their doorsteps," Mr McCullough said.

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John Blair, Alliance MLA

John Blair, Alliance MLA

John Blair, Alliance MLA

"We want to see the victims make a full and speedy recovery, but we'd also be concerned by the longer-term mental health impact of an incident like this.

"There should be absolutely no knives on the streets, the level of graphic violence is very concerning and knives are starting to become a more frequent issue, especially in north Belfast and that's something we want to combat."

The DUP councillor said he would be asking for an increased policing presence in the area and called on anyone with information to come forward.

Policing Board member John Blair said it was a "very distressing incident".

"It is really quite worrying," the Alliance MLA said. "I'm thinking of the victims at this time and I hope that anyone who may have been in the area or driving through it will come forward to police and Crimestoppers."

Sinn Fein councillor JJ Magee said the community in north Belfast was shocked at the stabbing.

"I would appeal for anyone with information on what happened to bring it forward to the PSNI," he said.

PSNI Detective Sergeant O'Flaherty said police "enquiries into this incident, which we are treating as attempted murder, are continuing and we are working to establish exactly what happened".

Anyone with information is asked to contact officers on 101.

Belfast Telegraph


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