16/12/2008

South Belfast Home Targeted By Gun-Gang

A man has been assaulted by a masked gang in the normally safe environment of his own home in the Belfast suburb of Newtownbreda.

It is understood that up to five men - one of them believed to have been carrying a gun - forced their way into the man's home at about 10.30pm last night, (Monday).

The gang then tied up and beat their victim before ransacking the Newtownbreda Road property.

The gang made off in a silver Mercedes car. Their victim was treated in hospital for "non life-threatening injuries", a police spokeswoman said.

Detectives have appealed to anyone with information about the incident to contact them.

Meanwhile, and also in south Belfast, it has emerged that a small sum of cash has been stolen from a bank.

It happened in Great Victoria Street when a man grabbed money from behind the counter of the bank shortly after 2pm on Friday last.

The man then fled across Great Victoria Street towards Albion Street with a male accomplice.
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The police said that two cars were forced to brake suddenly as the pair ran across the road. Police have appealed for information about that incident as well.

Meanwhile, despite a survey indicating that four out of five people affected by crime were "satisfied" with the police’s overall response, a watchdog body has said that police "must do more to keep victims of crime informed about the investigation of their cases".

The NI Policing Board Chairman, Sir Des Rea, has urged the PSNI to "up its efforts" after the service failed to meet a target to improve the performance of its victims' liaison service.

Sir Des said he was disappointed the goal of increasing satisfaction levels by 5% had not been met.

This lack of progress on that issue, is despite other findings of the latest victims' survey, which showed some 80% of people who have been victims of crime saying they are satisfied with the overall service they have received from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

This is according to a joint survey published by the Northern Ireland Policing Board and PSNI, the '2007/08 Quality of Service Survey', which monitors how victims feel about how the police deal with their cases.

(BMcC)

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