'This is not the way': Politicians in North condemn violence that injured 26 officers

'This is not the way': Politicians in North condemn violence that injured 26 officers

The PSNI says they came under "sustained attack" from large groups of youths on Distillery Street throwing petrol bombs, masonry and other missiles.

Politicians in North are urging the young people involved in violent disturbances in west Belfast yesterday which resulted in 26 PSNI officers being injured to think about what they are doing.

It is believed the disturbances were linked to the 49th anniversary of internment with trial today.

The PSNI says they came under "sustained attack" from large groups of youths on Distillery Street throwing petrol bombs, masonry and other missiles.

Officers had been called out to help contractors removing bonfire material in the area.

Local SDLP councillor Brian Heading says the fires are not a patriotic display.

"These young people just don't understand that we are coming up to 50 years when over 20 people were killed as a result of internment being introduced in Belfast.

"This is not the way to mark that event.

What I would encourage these young people to do is to go and read about what happened during that period.

Last night, Superintendent Melanie Jones said: “Footage from evidence-gathering cameras will be reviewed and all efforts will be made to identify those involved in the completely unacceptable violence we have seen here today.

“We will continue to work with the local community, representatives and other partners to address this issue, but it is disappointing that some young people and their guardians are not listening to our repeated warnings.

“People who choose to engage in criminal and anti-social behaviour must understand it is unacceptable and must stop. People have a right to live in peace and to feel safe in their communities.” 

Ms Jones urged parents and guardians to keep young people safe by knowing where they are going and who they are with.

“Young people must understand the dangers of getting involved in behaviour which could result in them injuring themselves or others, or ultimately, ending up with a criminal record,” she added.

Additional reporting by PA

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