The cost of policing the riots that saw more than 80 police officers injured in the space of two nights is costing several millions of pounds, Chief Constable Matt Baggott has said.
Mr Baggott said the money it has taken to deploy hundreds of police officers and resources to control the disorder in parts of Northern Ireland could have been used for a new hospital ward or a primary school.
He also vowed that a “significant” number of people were going to be arrested in relation to the violent disturbances.
“We have launched a major investigation. We will be bringing people to justice and will be looking at the courts to show what the vast majority of people want the courts to show,” he said.
The Chief Constable also praised the PSNI officers involved in the police operations to control the disturbances.
“They are young men and women, and experienced colleagues too, of immense courage and immense pride in what they do on behalf of all people in Northern Ireland,” he said.
“They were out there protecting people who were demonstrating, stopping communities getting at each other, dealing with young children out there with no parental control whatsoever throwing petrol bombs and making sure they weren’t injured.
“You take the complexity of that and show me anywhere in the world people that can do that like our colleagues in the PSNI.
“Faced with a very difficult series of disorders across Northern Ireland, they did a job which I think is truly world class. You would not see any such restraint in any other country.”