Northern Ireland

17 sex assaults in north-west of Northern Ireland over six-week period

Police have said they are concerned at the number of reports of sexual assaults in the north-west area of Northern Ireland.

From September to the middle of November, 17 reports of sexual assault have been received by police in the Foyle, Limavady, Magherafelt and Strabane areas.

Det Ch Insp James Mullen said they happened in social settings.

There were six reports of rape and 11 of indecent or sexual assault.

"We have received reports of incidents in licensed premises, at house parties, in private homes and in public places," Det Ch Insp Mullen added.

"Any sexual assaults have the potential for long lasting consequences for the victims and their families.

"Whether it is in a social or domestic setting there is a simple principle before engaging in any sexual contact; if both parties do not consent then it is wrong and it is illegal."