Belfast Telegraph

Police patrol attacked with petrol bomb in north Belfast

By Staff Reporter

A petrol bomb attack on police officers in north Belfast has been condemned as "reckless criminality".

Officers were responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle in the Ardoyne Avenue area at around 1am on Sunday when they came under attack from a crowd of stone throwers.

Their vehicle was then struck by a petrol bomb close to Rosapenna Street.

Inspector Tommy Fairfield said: "Thankfully none of the crew were injured and they were subsequently able to locate the suspicious vehicle and seize it.

"A 19-year-old man was arrested a short time later on suspicion of a range of driving offences.

"It is unacceptable that police officers simply trying to do their job should be attacked.

"However, I am pleased with how professionally the crew conducted themselves, continuing to pursue their enquiries and keep people safe in the face of such an attack."

The arrested man remains in police custody assisting officers with enquiries.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said: "Nobody should come under attack in this society for simply doing their job. PSNI officers and members of the community could have been seriously injured by these irresponsible actions.

"This kind of reckless criminality will not be tolerated. Those behind this attack have nothing to offer the people of north Belfast and have put our community at risk.

"I have been in contact with a number of concerned residents following the incident and I will continue to work with the whole community to send a clear message that this is not the will of the people in north Belfast.

"I would encourage anyone with any information to come forward as soon as possible."

DUP councillor Dale Pankhurst also condemned the incident.

He tweeted: "Cowardly attack by thugs on police in Ardoyne last night.

"Would encourage anyone with info to contact the PSNI on 101. No place for this type of activity in 2018."

Meanwhile, police in north Belfast also dealt with a crowd of young people who gathered in the nearby Waterworks on Saturday.

The area has been plagued by anti-social behaviour recently.

Officers seized a boombox after around 50 youths fled from the park beside the Antrim Road.

PSNI North Belfast posted on their Facebook page: "The issue around anti-social behaviour in public parks such as the Waterworks, Cavehill, Marrowbone has been going on for years and it's time parents stepped up and know where their kids are."

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