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More police on streets after rioting in Derry

By Eamonn MacDermott

Published 11/04/2015

Extra police have been drafted in to an area of Londonderry hit by serious rioting.

The police have stepped up their patrols in the Galliagh area of the city after the disturbances which left two police cars badly damaged and reports of shots fired when 100 youths went on the rampage.

More local neighbourhood officers were deployed on Thursday night and two arrests were made.

A 15-year-old boy and a 30-year-old man were arrested for assault on police and disorderly behaviour.

The boy was released pending a report from a youth diversion officer while the man has been charged to appear at Derry Magistrates' Court on May 6.

The increased police operation in the Leafair area of Galliagh after disturbances on Wednesday night has been described as "a first class and excellent job" by a local community leader.

Peter McDonald, a prominent community worker in the area for two decades, said the increased policing on Thursday night had made a difference.

Mr McDonald praised police for increasing patrols but said that ultimately parents must take more responsibility for their children.

He reminded parents whose children get involved in trouble that the Northern Ireland Housing Executive had the power to evict social housing tenants if families failed to keep their children under control.

Mr McDonald said: "This is not about heavy-handed policing. This is about a police service delivering a service, no different from Derry City Council, so people need to get that into their mindsets."

The community worker added: "I am prepared, along with many, many others to encourage and build upon policing."

Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan said additional local neighbourhood officers were on patrol in the city on Thursday night to "reassure residents, deal with anti-social behaviour and criminality and keep people safe".

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