‘Thugs’ ran up £720k bill in one night’s riot
Nearly half the total cost of policing the riots over the summer was down to one night in Ardoyne.
The overall cost of the rioting across Northern Ireland topped £1.6m with nearly half the bill — some £720,000 — resulting from a single night's trouble in north Belfast on July 12.
Several nights of serious disorder stretched PSNI resources and led to a huge bill for overtime and damage to equipment.
DUP Assembly Member Lord Morrow, said: “It illustrates the amount of public money which is being poured into containing these thugs who make a continual habit of rioting.
“They do so knowing that they will never have to pick up the pieces and also that when they are brought to court, they will get legal aid which seems to be all too readily available.”
A breakdown of the costs shows the policing bill for the July 12 Ardoyne riots came to £719,733. Two nights of riots in east Belfast in June cost a further £306,480.
Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay said: “Violence puts people's lives at serious risk, damages local infrastructure, and sets back relationships.
“Therefore, it is incumbent that everyone involved in parades, protests or difficult community issues starts talking at an early stage to find solutions which everyone can live with.
“Solutions that will ease tensions and ensure that Northern Ireland continues to move forward and doesn't hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.”
So far 147 arrests have been made and 113 people charged in connection with this summer's trouble in the city and further afield.