Alliance Upper Bann representative, Eóin Tennyson, has called for urgent action to tackle the rise of sexual assaults on girls.
The call for action follows figures released by the PSNI to media which revealed 791 incidents of sexual assault of girls over the age of 13 has been reported to the police in the past year, a rise of nearly 60 per cent on the previous year, with 267 reports of sexual assault on girls under 13.
“Additional resource is urgently needed to tackle violence against women and girls. Yet, it appears significant budget cuts are imminent. These cuts will bring financial pressures so serious this essential additional work might not be possible,” he said.
“This has been demonstrated through the postponement in recent days of a police recruitment campaign and the Justice Minister has highlighted her Department was bearing “disproportionate pain” in the draft Budget. It follows that policing, which accounts for 70 per cent of that Department’s budget, has taken a very serious hit as a consequence.
“The budgetary position will be a particular worry not only to those trying to deliver more safety on our streets for women and girls, but also and especially for women and girls themselves who have a right to expect better outcomes, given the increased attention on this issue and the tragic headlines of recent times.”