Police issue warning following Lurgan stabbings
Police have issued a strong warning on the dangers of carrying a knife following two stabbings in Lurgan last weekend.
On Good Friday, a 15-year-old girl was left with "life-changing injuries" after being stabbed in the Dean's Walk area of the town.
Less than 48 hours later, a man in his 20s was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after being stabbed in the Shankill Street area.
SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly said the community had been shocked by the two incidents and appealed for calm.
Posting on social media, Superintendent Wendy Middleton said police understand why Lurgan residents are concerned and they are "not complacent about knife crime".
"My message is clear - never carry a knife; knives take lives. It is unacceptable in any circumstances, and the consequence of carrying or using a knife can be devastating, often with life-taking and life-changing consequences," she said.
"The issue of knives is not just a policing one, but it is police and our NHS colleagues who are left to deal with the sometimes terrible consequences of when a knife has been used.
"In reality, we need the whole community to work together to deal with this issue and to reinforce the messages knives are illegal - don’t carry them."
Last month, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that almost 800 serious knife crimes took place in Northern Ireland in 2018.
This figure includes five killings, 29 attempted murders and more than 540 incidents of someone being wounded.
Superintendent Middleton said: "A knife picked up by a child could prove devastating so I am urging parents/guardians to have a conversation with your children and tell them of the dangers posed by knives.
"Make sure they know never to carry one, just how dangerous they are and what they need to do if they come across a knife."
Belfast Telegraph Digital