POLICE investigating a series of incidents in which women were assaulted and stabbed in south Belfast on Monday night (12 October) have released an image of a male they want to identify, together with details of a similar report, bringing the number of incidents being investigated to six.
Following a review of CCTV footage gathered from a number of locations as part of the ongoing investigation, detectives have also provided an updated timeline of incidents as they continue to appeal for witnesses to come forward.
Belfast area co-ordinator Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said; “Having collated and reviewed CCTV footage and following a new additional report, we have established a more accurate timeline of incidents;
“The first incident occurred in Castle Place at 7.42pm, in which a female pedestrian received a stab wound.
“The second stabbing occurred at 7.51pm on Ormeau Avenue between the Linenhall Street and Adelaide Steet Junctions.
“The third stabling 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 and we believe this to have been carried out by the same man.
“Four of the females received treatment in hospital for puncture injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.
“We believe that each of these attacks were carried out by a male on a bicycle
“All six women are aged between 19 and 22.
“While their injuries were minor and not life threatening, these are very serious incidents. These were frightening random attacks for these young women but thankfully incidents like this are extremely rare.
“Again, I want to reassure the community that officers are carrying out additional patrols across the city centre and south Belfast.
“We are doing everything we can to identify and arrest this man. While detectives are continuing to conduct extensive CCTV enquiries, I would appeal to any drivers who were in these areas at the times we have now identified, to review any dash cam footage, and for any business owners in the relevant areas to review their CCTV.
“The man is described as wearing dark clothing, possibly wearing a hooded top, cycling a mountain bike which may have a light coloured frame and reflectors on the spokes. We believe the man may have been wearing a black mask and wearing a backpack.
“I would encourage anyone who may have witnessed any of these incidents or anyone who was in any of these areas that may have dash-cam footage to contact police at Lisburn Road on the non-emergency number 101 or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/”