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PSNI appeal after traffic lights set on fire and petrol bombs seized in spate of anti-social behaviour in Belfast

Published 30/06/2015

Police are appealing for parents to make sure they know where their children are after an increase of incidents as a result of anti-social behaviour at interface areas across Belfast.

Chief Superintendent Nigel Grimshaw said there has been an increase in the number of incidents at interface areas across the city.

He revealed there were reports of a flare being thrown in east Belfast with golf balls also being thrown and PSNI seizing six petrol bombs.

As well as bricks being thrown and wheelie bins set alight in the north of the city.

Meanwhile traffic lights have been set on fire in the west of the city.

He said: "These incidents are reckless and have the potential to result in someone getting seriously injured.

“We have been engaging with the youths and community representatives encouraging the young people to move away from the interface areas where incidents have taken place.  Some of those involved are not locals and have come to the interface areas to stir up tensions. 

“Just last night in East Belfast we had reports of a flare being thrown in the direction of Bryson Street, golf balls being thrown into Thistle Court and we also retrieved six petrol bombs.

“In the North of the City we had reports of bricks being thrown and wheelie bins being set alight.

“In the West of the City we received reports of youths setting the traffic lights on fire in the Twinbrook area.

“These are just a few examples of some of the incidents that occurred within Belfast within the past 24 hours.

“I would appeal for calm over the coming days and weeks and urge those who have influence within local communities to engage with their community and help us to keep people safe.

"Police resources have been deployed in specific areas in order to increase visibility and to act as a deterrent to individuals who may be considering orchestrating any attacks.

“I would urge parents to make sure they know where their children are and what they are doing and to talk to them about the danger of getting caught up in the moment and the possible outcomes they could face if they are found committing any offence.

“I would also like to remind young people there are consequences when you get involved in this type of behaviour.  What might seem like fooling about can often result in a criminal record which can affect travel, education and employment opportunities in the future. It is really important that young people understand this

"It is important to recognise the resolution to this issue is not solely a policing one. Police working with local representatives and partner agencies are keen to find resolutions to interface issues that everyone can live with, which will also ease tensions and allow the areas to move forward.

"We recognise people are working very hard to deal with these issues and that it is only a small minority of people involved in incidents. I would continue to appeal to the local communities across Belfast to assist us in addressing problems in their areas by reporting crime and passing on information about those involved to us on the non-emergency number 101."

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