Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

We need calm few days, say police

A petrol bomb hits riot police after being thrown by loyalist rioters in north Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 13, 2013. Hundreds of police reinforcements from Britain were deployed on Belfast's rubble-strewn streets Saturday after Protestant riots over a blocked march left 32 officers, a senior lawmaker and at least eight rioters wounded.   (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A petrol bomb hits riot police after being thrown by loyalist rioters in north Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 13, 2013. Hundreds of police reinforcements from Britain were deployed on Belfast's rubble-strewn streets Saturday after Protestant riots over a blocked march left 32 officers, a senior lawmaker and at least eight rioters wounded. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Riot police deploy a water cannon after being attacked by loyalist protesters in north Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 13, 2013.  Hundreds of police reinforcements from Britain were deployed on Belfast's rubble-strewn streets Saturday after Protestant riots over a blocked march left 32 officers, a senior lawmaker and at least eight rioters wounded.  (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Riot police deploy a water cannon after being attacked by loyalist protesters in north Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, July 13, 2013. Hundreds of police reinforcements from Britain were deployed on Belfast's rubble-strewn streets Saturday after Protestant riots over a blocked march left 32 officers, a senior lawmaker and at least eight rioters wounded. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A total of 32 police officers were injured in violence in Belfast on Friday

A senior police commander has urged loyalists to stay off the streets in Northern Ireland amid heightened tensions over a parades dispute.

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr called for mature political leadership and for the Orange Order to call off protests to prevent further violence which has already cost the economy "multiple millions of pounds".

He said: "We need a calm few days, we need discouragement from people to come on to the streets and, if we could reduce tensions over the next few days, particularly in light of the Assembly debate at Stormont tomorrow, hopefully we can get back to a sense of normality very soon.

"We do not need people on the streets of east or north Belfast at the moment."

The Stormont Assembly has been re-called and will meet on Tuesday to discuss the fall out from the Parades Commission determination which prevented Protestant Orangemen from walking past the nationalist Ardoyne area on Friday night.

Police said 44 officers were injured during three nights of disorder.

A number were hospitalised with suspected broken bones, head or neck injuries after being attacked with Orange Order ceremonial swords, bricks, bottles and heavy masonry. Others were treated for heat exhaustion.

Police said they were treating the attacks by loyalists as attempted murder.

More than 50 petrol bombs were thrown at police lines, with a further 30 recovered by officers over the past three nights. Police fired 49 plastic bullets in an attempt to quell the trouble.

Forty-nine people aged between 15 and 52 have been arrested and a special sitting of Belfast Magistrates' Court was held on Sunday. To date, 22 people have appeared before judges charged with public order offences.

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