PSNI say 'sinister elements' involved in riots

Tuesday, April 6

(Photo: @fekitcba)

There have been violent incidents in County Antrim for a third night in a row, with young people involved in disturbances in Carrickfergus on Monday night.

Five PSNI officers were injured during disorder in County Antrim on Sunday.

Police Federation chair Mark Lindsay said "older more sinister elements" were influencing younger people to attack police officers.

Petrol bombs were thrown at police in Carrickfergus on Sunday.

Officers were also attacked in Newtownabbey on the same night.

There were reports that police were attacked at the scene of a bomb alert at the Templemore Road, in a predominantly nationalist part of Derry, on Monday night.

Ch Supt Davy Beck described the violence as "senseless" and "reckless".

"To those in our community with influence, I would urge you to use that influence so we do not see any further disgraceful scenes of violence on our streets so we can ensure young people do not get caught up in criminality and that they are kept safe and away from harm," he said

Ch Supt Beck said there had been an element of "organisation" to the attacks.

"I believe there is a small group of disaffected criminal elements involved in influencing young people," he said.

He urged young people involved to "think about your future and employment prospects and not get sucked in".

He added that police had been "successful in respect of criminal gangs" in the area and the trouble was a "perhaps a reaction from those involved in criminality".

The disorder in Newtownabbey started at about 9.00pm on Sunday when 20 to 30 people in masks set bins on fire. 

When officers moved into the area, four petrol bombs were thrown at them leaving one officer with a leg injury.

About an hour later, on North Road in Carrickfergus, a crowd of up to 50 people gathered and 20 petrol bombs were thrown at police.

Four officers were injured after they were struck by masonry and sustained leg, foot and neck injuries.