PSNI plea to parents after fourth night of rioting in the New Lodge
Police in riot gear were forced to move in to the New Lodge in north Belfast on Thursday night as residents had to endure more serious disturbances there.
And the PSNI revealed they had recovered a number of petrol bombs in the area following searches yesterday morning.
Thursday was the fourth night in succession that trouble had flared, though the incidents were not on the same scale as in previous evenings when officers had come under repeated attacks from youths.
"Police were once again targeted during a fourth night of criminal and anti-social behaviour in North Belfast," a PSNI spokesperson confirmed yesterday.
"A small number of petrol and paint bombs were thrown at police in the Victoria Parade and Tigers Bay areas between 7.20pm and 11pm.
"While on patrol this morning local police recovered a number of petrol bombs in the north Belfast area."
Superintendent Melanie Jones added: "While the disorder was at a much lower level last night, as I said yesterday, the people who choose to engage in this dangerous, criminal, anti-social behaviour must stop before someone is seriously injured.
"Again, some of our vehicles have been damaged, but thankfully no members of the public or police officers have been injured.
"We will continue to deploy additional local officers, supported by our tactical support group and evidence-gathering colleagues, in the area as we work alongside our partner agencies, local representatives and the community to address the issue.
"We need parents and guardians to prevent young people from becoming involved or caught up in these activities.
"To keep young people safe and ensure they don't get involved or harmed by this activity, it is critical that parents and guardians know where their children and young people are, who they are with, what they are doing and what they are arranging on their social media accounts," the superintendent continued.
"I would also ask any local residents who have had their home or property damaged as a result of these incidents to contact police on 101, or alternatively information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous."
Local SDLP councillor Paul McCusker was at the scene and said that while the events were still disturbing, they weren't on the same level as previous evenings.
"I was down there myself and while there was sporadic trouble it wasn't on a scale anything like previous nights and that is to be welcomed," he said.
"There was a heavy police presence and by midnight the operation was starting to be scaled back.
"Residents were reassured that things look to be settling and hopefully the message is getting through that no one wants this sort of trouble in the area.
"There's a more positive attitude and that is welcomed."