Spotlight on Sex Offenders in University Area
It is believed the girl was dragged into bushes by a man while walking on her own towards the Stranmillis exit of the Park. She had left a group of friends to go home, after they had been drinking in another area of the gardens.
In a BBC report, local councillor Alasdair McDonnell admitted "this area around Queen's, the Holyland and South Belfast generally is seen as an easy area for this type of attack".
Fellow SDLP councillor for the area, Pat McCarthy, confirmed in The Gown last week that, "The majority of sex offenders in Northern Ireland live in South Belfast, and the majority of them live in and around the University area. We know that for a fact".
At present four wardens patrol the area (only two per shift) known as The Holylands, which stretches from Agincourt Avenue to University Street, from Sunday to Thursday.
Botanic Gardens, a popular spot for students and the local community especially in May and June, is now receiving press and police attention for all the wrong reasons.