Belfast Telegraph

Belfast teen (14) beaten with sticks as crowd looked on in interface attack

Police investigating link to disturbances in north of city

A 14-year-old boy was attacked by a gang of three males while a crowd watched on an interface in north Belfast.

The boy had been at a nearby shopping centre when he was approached by a crowd between 7.15pm and 8.15pm in the North Queen Street area.

He was then beaten with sticks.

But for the intervention of a family friend was the boy able to escape and limp to a relative's home nearby.

He was taken to hospital where his injuries were described as non-life threatening.

Police are investigating a link to earlier disturbances in the New Lodge area.

Police came under attack as after dealing with disorder in the Duncairn Parade and Victoria parade areas. Bins were set on fire and a police car damaged.

Sinn Fein MLA Caral Ni Chuilin said today she has been in contact with the PSNI about ongoing anti-social behaviour in the New Lodge area.

“There has been an issue with anti-social behaviour involving a number of youths at the bottom of the New Lodge Road and the Barrack area over recent days," she said.

“This has involved vandalism, burning bins and throwing stones at police.

“There is a very small minority of young people involved in the anti-social behaviour but children as young as 14 are getting caught up in this.

“Local residents are angry that this activity has continued over a couple of days despite the best efforts of youth workers and local community leaders.

“Residents want the statutory bodies to step up to the plate and the PSNI has assured me that police patrols will be stepped up.

“Older residents are terrified by this anti-community behaviour and I’m really concerned about the age of some of the children involved.

“Sinn Fein will be meeting with the PSNI and other statutory agencies, parents and community leaders in an effort to get a co-ordinated approach to tackle this upsurge in anti-social behaviour before someone is seriously injured.”

Police are appealing for information.

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