Councillors seek urgent meeting after robberies

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Two Ulster Unionist councillors are calling for more police presence on the streets of Rathfriland after two armed robberies were reported on Saturday evening.

Alderman Elizabeth Ingram and Councillor Glenn Barr are seeking an urgent meeting with senior police officers after a cafe and shop were robbed.

Around 8.15pm a male, armed with a screwdriver and knife entered a café on John Street and demanded money. When a female member of staff called for assistance from other staff the male made off on foot.

A short time later, around 8.30pm, a male armed with a knife, entered a confectionary shop at Downpatrick Street. He demanded money from the till. He made off on foot with a sum of cash.

The male is described as being around five feet two inches tall, of slim build and is thought to be in his teens or 20’s. He was wearing dark clothing, gloves and had a scarf over his face.

Detectives are appealling for witnesses. They can be contacted on 101, quoting ref: 1122 270216. You can also contact the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

In a joint statement the Ulster Unionist elected representatives said, “Recent changes in Policing have coincided with a rise in the number of high profile violent crimes.

“The public need to be re-assured and to have confidence that they have a modern police force which has the necessary resources to protect them. The police must have the capacity to tackle all levels of crime, including the type we have witnessed in Rathfriland recently such as the recycling plant and house fire and last weekend’s knife crime.”