Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

17 arrested over West Belfast riots

Police prepare to fire baton rounds after coming under petrol bomb attack from youths in Ardoyne

Seventeen people have been arrested in connection with public order offences in Northern Ireland earlier this week.

Violence erupted in west Belfast on Monday night and spread on Tuesday, the Twelfth of July, to Ardoyne in the north of the city.

Rioters threw petrol bombs, fireworks and brick at PSNI lines and officers responded with baton rounds and water cannon. Tuesday's trouble lasted for six hours and left 26 people injured and the residential area strewn with rubble and burned-out cars.

A PSNI spokeswoman confirmed: "As of Friday July 15, 17 people, 16 males and one female, have been arrested for public order offences across Belfast on July 11 and 12 by public order inquiry teams."

Several people have already appeared in Belfast Magistrates' Court: four males, aged 18, 13, 16 and 34, were charged with riotous behaviour; one aged 24 was charged with riotous behaviour, possession of an offensive weapon and resisting arrest; and a woman aged 27 was charged with disorderly behaviour, resisting arrest and assault on police. More are expected in court in the coming days.

Police are using CCTV footage to identify rioters. The trouble broke out during the culmination of the loyal order marching season on July 12. A parade passed Ardoyne peacefully but nationalist protesters attacked police.

Meanwhile, a meeting was held on Friday involving police and community workers in West Belfast to address disorder in the Suffolk Road area this week. The trouble has seen a number of youths and young adults involved in throwing petrol bombs at vehicles.

Belfast city councillors Tim Attwood and Gerard O'Neill, representatives from Colin Glen Trust, Falls Community Council, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Translink transport company, Unite trade union and the Upper Falls Community Safety Forum condemned the behaviour.

"In addition to an increased policing presence in the area, community representatives and community safety wardens will also be on the ground in the coming days to help prevent a recurrence of events which unfolded on previous nights," a group statement said.

A leaflet drop will also be undertaken to local residents and contact made with local businesses to appeal for assistance in tackling the problem. The group called on parents to exert their parental responsibility and ensure that they were aware of their children's whereabouts.

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