Rise in attacks in Northern Ireland’s fast food outlets

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Fast food outlets in Northern Ireland see hundreds of crimes every year according to recent police records published in the Irish News.

Of the 2,300 attacks in fast food outlets in the north over the past three years half have been of a violent nature.

Topping the list was the city centre branch of McDonalds, 200 offences have been committed there during that time.

It was this outlet that saw the stabbing of a young boxer from West Belfast Caoimhin Hynes (20) queuing  for food after a night out just a few weeks ago.

The figures also show that crimes at fast food outlets are on the increase with 820 crimes committed last year, compared with 758 the year before.

Violent crimes is where the really worry is though with an increase to 394 from 2015’s figure of 305.

SDLP Councillor for Belfast City Council, Paul McCusker, has worked on the streets for the past few years with his charity, Homeless Aware.

He has been shocked by the sights that he has seen on Belfast streets late at night.

He has blamed the rise in drug presence on the streets for the “exponential” rise in violent crime, particularly those involving knives.

I spoke to him about why he felt that rise has occurred and what needs to be done in order to prevent it.

Hannah McSorley
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