Appeal to ‘those with influence’ to stop Northern Ireland riots

A senior police officer has appealed to those with influence in the community, and to parents, to help stop the “senseless” criminality that has been ongoing for seven nights in Londonderry.

Easter Monday saw yet more trouble in loyalist areas of the city, with cars, a digger, and a phone box burned out and petrol bombs thrown at police.

Among the incidents in the Nelson Drive area of the Waterside, bins were set alight across the road.

A brick was also thrown at a taxi on the Limavady Road at about 11.30pm, but fortunately neither the driver nor the passenger were injured.

I would appeal directly to parents and guardians to know where their children are and what they are doing to ensure they do not get caught up in criminality.

PSNI District Commander Darrin Jones

PSNI Derry & Strabane District Commander Darrin Jones said: “This is reckless and criminal behaviour, and it has to stop.

“It is absolutely appalling and achieves nothing except harm to our community.”

He added: “I will continue to appeal to those in our community with influence to do what they can to stop this senseless behaviour.

“I would appeal to everyone in the area to help diffuse any local tensions and prevent any further disorder.”

Police respond to trouble in the Nelson Drive area of the Waterside. Credit: PA

In a separate incident, police in Derry were also attacked after being called to the scene of what turned out to be a hoax bomb alert in the predominantly nationalist Shantallow area.

In total, 41 police officers have been injured in recent disorder across Northern Ireland.

Trouble has flared in areas including Belfast, Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey, and Ballymena - the latter, where a wheelie bin was among missiles thrown on the M2 motorway during violent scenes that also left nine officers injured.

The Stormont Assembly is set to be recalled from Easter recess for an emergency debate on a motion condemning the attacks on police.

Amid the aftermath, hijacked cars are left burned out in Newtownabbey in Co Antrim. Credit: Presseye