PSNI investigating after four women stabbed and two assaulted in Belfast

Detectives seeking to identify cyclist after six women attacked in one day

An image of the man PSNI officers wish to speak with, on Donegall Place in Belfast. Photograph: PSNI

An image of the man PSNI officers wish to speak with, on Donegall Place in Belfast. Photograph: PSNI

 

PSNI detectives are investigating another incident in which a woman was stabbed by a cyclist during a series of attacks in Belfast on Monday.

The police on Wednesday issued an updated timeline of the attacks, which include four stabbings and two incidents in which women were physically assaulted.

Four of the women received hospital treatment for puncture injuries, which are not thought to be life-threatening.

All of the victims were aged between 19 and 22.

The attacks took place in the city centre and south Belfast areas between about 7.45pm and 9pm on Monday.

The PSNI’s Belfast area co-ordinator, Chief Superintendent Simon Walls, said police had collated and reviewed CCTV footage and received a new, additional report of an attack which had allowed them to establish a “more accurate timeline” of the incidents.

“The first incident occurred in Castle Place at 7.42pm, in which a female pedestrian received a stab wound,” he said.

“The second stabbing occurred at 7.51pm on the Ormeau Avenue between the Linenhall Street and Adelaide Street junctions.

“The third stabbing occurred at 8.56pm on Donegall Square West. In the fourth incident, which occurred at some time between 8.56pm and 9.01pm on the Dublin Road, a female received a punch to the back of her head.

“In the fifth incident at 9.01pm, another female received a stab wound as she walked along the University Road, near Mount Charles.

“In the sixth incident, a female was punched in the neck on the Upper Lisburn Road near Dunluce Avenue at around 9.03pm.”

Chief Supt Walls said he believed each of the attacks was carried out by a man on a bicycle.

While the women’s injuries were “minor and not life threatening”, he said, “these are very serious incidents”.

“These were frightening random attacks for these young women but thankfully incidents like this are extremely rare.”

He said police were carrying out extra patrols in the city centre and south Belfast areas, and were doing “everything we can to identify and arrest” the person responsible.

The police on Wednesday issued an image of a man they want to assist them with their inquiries.

The man was described as wearing dark clothing, possibly including a hooded top, cycling a mountain bike which may have a light-coloured frame with reflectors on the spokes.

On Wednesday afternoon the PSNI posted an image of a man on a bicycle riding in the Donegall Place area of central Belfast.

They said they were “urgently seeking to identify the male in this image to assist them with their enquiries”.

The PSNI said after the attacks they were mounting additional patrols to try to ensure people’s safety. They also warned women to be vigilant against such attacks.

Chief Supt Walls appealed to any drivers who were in the relevant areas at the time of the attacks to share any dashcam footage with them, and for business owners to review their CCTV footage.

Police can be contacted at Lisburn Road on the non-emergency number 101 or via the non-emergency reporting form at http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.