Belfast Telegraph

So, how is the police officer hit with an iron bar?

By Lindy McDowell

I wonder how he or she is? The police officer who got hit over the head with an iron bar during the riots around Broadway in Belfast at the weekend.

The injury got only fleeting mention in news bulletins (along with similarly fleeting reference to the injuries sustained by several colleagues.)

“Hit over the head with an iron bar” is actually shocking stuff. That it merits little other than passing reference reflects how much we expect police officers (and other members of the emergency services) to take on our behalf.

It’s almost as if it’s regarded as par for the course. Just as the vicious “orchestrated” rioting that led to such injuries is itself regarded as par for the course.

But it’s not just “orchestrated” violence (dissident republican gangs are blamed for sparking this latest round), it’s also cynical and it’s criminal.

The thugs who ransacked KFC making off with the tills weren’t exactly expecting resistance.

KFC don’t do paramilitary wings. We all know that it suits the gangsters and the terrorists to provoke street violence.

We also know that the residents of the area targeted by this orchestration of criminality deserve better from the authorities.

So, too, do the officers caught on the front line. We all need to be a whole lot less blasé about policemen and women being hit over the head with iron bars.

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