PSNI deploys extra resources to cope with north Belfast violence

Senior officer appeals to parents to keep their children away from anti-social behaviour

PSNI Supt Melanie Jones: ‘This reckless, criminal behaviour poses an unacceptable danger to members of the public, police officers and indeed those who are engaged in this activity.’ Photograph: Rebecca Black/PA Wire

PSNI Supt Melanie Jones: ‘This reckless, criminal behaviour poses an unacceptable danger to members of the public, police officers and indeed those who are engaged in this activity.’ Photograph: Rebecca Black/PA Wire

 

The PSNI has deployed extra resources to try to deal with violence in north Belfast.

Police condemned what they said was three nights of anti-social and criminal behaviour during Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights and were primed for further possible trouble.

On Wednesday night a number of petrol bombs were thrown at police as they patrolled the predominantly nationalist North Queen Street area of north Belfast.

Supt Melanie Jones said on Wednesday it was “critical that the people who choose to engage in this dangerous, criminal, anti-social behaviour understand that it is unacceptable and it must stop”.

“We don’t want anyone injured or worse. We want people to take responsibility. We want residents to feel safe in their own homes,” she said.

Supt Jones said those involved were aged from 14 to mid-20s, and she believed there was a smaller element who were fomenting the trouble.

Plea to parents

She appealed to parents to take control of their children. “There is a huge responsibility on parents and guardians to prevent young people from becoming involved or caught up in these activities,” she said.

“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,” she added.

“While some of our vehicles have been damaged in these recent incidents, thankfully no members of the public or police officers have been injured.

“This reckless, criminal behaviour poses an unacceptable danger to members of the public, police officers and indeed those who are engaged in this activity.”

Supt Jones said that from Monday evening, the PSNI had deployed additional resources, including local officers, supported by a tactical support group and evidence-gathering colleagues in the area.

“Local officers are currently reviewing video footage and are following definite lines of inquiry as we work to identify those involved, who can expect to be the subject of further police investigation and action.”