Images of riot suspects released by police
The police have released images of 28 suspects they want to question about serious street disorder that “wreaked havoc” across Northern Ireland.
Detectives from a specialist public order inquiry team are hoping the public will help them identify the men in these images as part of their investigations into rioting in east Belfast and Ballyclare during June and July.
Three people were shot during three nights of sustained sectarian violence at an interface on the Lower Newtownards Road in Belfast in June.
In Ballyclare six officers sustained whiplash when a hijacked bus rammed a police vehicle during riots that erupted after Union and paramilitary flags were removed from lampposts in July.
Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay said the response from the public appeals to date had been “positive”.
A second tranche of photographs will be released on Thursday showing suspects police want to speak to in connection with rioting in north and west Belfast during July.
Last month all of Northern Ireland’s main news organisations wrote to the PSNI Chief Constable to protest at having to hand over riot footage of trouble in east Belfast.
The letter highlighted to Matt Baggott the “genuine fear that terrorists and rioters will target the media whom they perceive to be evidence gatherers for the State” if the PSNI continues to demand the disclosure of material gathered for news purposes.
The PSNI has declined to comment on the source of these latest images.