As the Policing Board sat down to discuss multi-million pound cuts to PSNI resources, police were coming under attack in Co Armagh.
Already-stretched police units had to fend off rioters and hijackers as violence spread across Craigavon in broad daylight while officers carried out searches in the area.
Two vans, a lorry and a car were taken and set on fire and petrol bombs were thrown at police.
Drivers were advised to avoid the area around the Drumbeg and Monbrief roundabouts in Craigavon following the outbreak of disturbances yesterday afternoon.
A PSNI spokesperson said the trouble broke out as officers were conducting a search of the area in connection with dissident republican activity.
Police said no-one was injured during the incident.
Criagavon has seen an upsurge in dissident republican activity in recent months.
Last month a pipe bomb was thrown at Craigavon police station.