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Divis Hoods torch cars and goad PSNI at internment night bonfire

By Nevin Farrell

A notorious gang of car criminals were blamed for causing chaos after trouble broke out at an internment night bonfire in the Divis area of Belfast.

Cars were stolen and set on fire as violence erupted on one of the main routes into the west of the city.

Witnesses reported that children and parents had to dodge out of the way of a stolen car.

As a bonfire burned, a car performed handbrake turns in front of police in a bid to taunt the officers as crowds cheered.

One witness said: "This was the so-called Divis Hoods. This is their heartland and they like to goad police, particularly on a night like this when, with crowds on the streets, they know police might be reluctant to pursue one car."

Some members of the crowd could be seen throwing rocks and bottles at police and could be heard shouting abuse.

The Divis Hoods have long been involved in car theft. Local politicians have consistently slammed their actions and described the gang as "malcontents".

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