October 30, 2020

North Belfast: Petrol bomb attacks on police for second night

PSNI riot officers Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Police officers in riot gear pictured in north Belfast on Saturday night

Petrol bombs and stones have been thrown at police in north Belfast on Saturday in a second night of trouble.

Officers were attacked in the North Queen Street area near the New Lodge flats and a small fire was started in the middle of the road.

The trouble involved young people and marked a continuation of violence from Friday night.

Earlier on Saturday, a police officer warned of “consequences” for those involved.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Trouble continued in the North Queen Street area for a second night

Officers dressed in riot gear carried out searches of the area on Saturday, but were targeted along with police vehicles.

Over the course of Friday evening, a piece of furniture was also set on fire in the middle of North Queen Street and it was reported that youths were throwing stones at houses and passing cars.

Ch Insp Peter Brannigan said on Saturday “there will be consequences for those choosing to engage in this type of behaviour”.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption A piece of furniture was set on fire on Friday night

He said North Queen Street had to be closed for a period on Friday night to allow debris to be cleared and there were two reports of criminal damage caused to two vehicles “as a result of this senseless behaviour”.

“I want to make a direct appeal to the young people who were involved in this reckless activity, and to parents and guardians of young people to please ensure you know where your young people are and what they are doing,” Ch Insp Brannigan added.

“We will deploy the necessary resources to detect and deter those responsible in a proportionate manner, and we will seek to gather evidence to bring those responsible before the courts, whether through evidence gathering or arrests at the time.”

Car smashed

Meanwhile in Rathcoole, detectives are investigating an incident in which a car was hijacked and set on fire.

Police said that shortly after 01:00 BST on Saturday, it was reported that a man driving along along Rathcoole Drive was obstructed by a number of pallets on the road.

The man tried to drive away but was stopped by about 10 males, some armed with wood.

Police said he was ordered to get out of his white Peugeot 108 by one of the males while another got inside and drove it short distance away.

The windscreen of the car was then smashed before the car was set on fire.

The driver left the scene uninjured.