Violent and sexual offences are on the rise in the Lurgan area, the latest statistics show.
It follows revelations that police are hunting a sex pest who inappropriately touched a teenage girl in the early hours of Sunday morning August 3.
The PSNI said: “Some time between 2.30am and 3am an 18-year-old female was walking along William Street and Brownlow Terrace. She was aware of a man walking behind her. The female stopped at the junction of Ulster Street to remove her shoes and the man touched her inappropriately before walking on.
“The man is described as being in his late 40s approximately, around 5ft 8in tall, overweight with a bald head. He was wearing a blue raincoat and dark jeans and spoke with a local accent.”
Meanwhile recent statistics show that the number of sex and violent crimes in the Lurgan area have reached more than 100.
Chief Inspector Paul Reid said: “Police in Craigavon treat any rise in crime seriously and we want everyone to feel safe living, working and socialising in the local area. Crime statistics can fluctuate from month to month for a variety of reasons and we try to analyse longer term trends.
“When we look back at statistics for the first Quarter of this year (April - June) we can see that violence against the person has increased from 464 in 2013 to 557 in 2014, of this violence with injury accounted for 222 instances in 2013, compared with 250 in 2014. More than half of this violence against the person did not result in injury. Over the last three months the trend across Craigavon has been downward: May 189 (100); June 188 (90); July 169 (92), (Figures for Lurgan in brackets).
“We have been working tirelessly for some time to raise awareness of violent crime - crime which can be alcohol related and which also includes domestic violence. We work in partnership with licensees and other partners and provide a visible and reassuring presence on the streets during night time economy hours. We also work with our partners in the education and community sectors to educate people about the dangers and consequences of alcohol related and violent crime and these messages are publicised regularly through the media. As we raise awareness, reporting of crime also increases.”
He said they are addressing the issue of sexual offences by giving advice and support to young people to help them stay safe when they are out.