Crowd of children rips up park area to use in attack on police

Some of the ground at a public exercise area in west Belfast, which had been pulled up and thrown at officers
Some of the ground at a public exercise area in west Belfast, which had been pulled up and thrown at officers

The PSNI have said they came under attack in west Belfast at the weekend from children who tore apart a recreational park site to use bits of it as weapons.

Police posted a message on the internet on Saturday night stating that they dealt with a “large crowd of kids” in Falls Park and City Cemetery, in the heartland of the republican Falls district of the city.

They estimated the crowd to be about 200 strong.

Upon entering the park police said the crowd scattered, adding: “The rubber floor of the play park was being ripped up and used as missiles to throw at us, but that wasn’t the only type used – there were also several large stones and bottles thrown.

“This behaviour didn’t just put us at risk, but several times the missiles just missed other kids. Damaging a kids’ play park which is used by the whole community just isn’t on.”

The post, on the PSNI West Belfast Facebook page, added: “This problem won’t be solved by police alone – parents we need you to do your bit!”

It also included what the police team dubbed a “quote of the day”, uttered by a parent.

It was: “If you see my [child] in the park, will you tell her to come home.”

The parent had said this after one child they were supposed to be looking after had been returned to them, in a state of heavy intoxication.

Police said two teenagers had been arrested for public order and alcohol offences.

A day earlier, the same PSNI page had said that crowds of children aged 12 to 16 had also been gathering in the area.