Calmer streets in Belfast on Saturday night following violent clashes

Flashpoint areas of Belfast were reported to be calm on Saturday night after several days of serious disorder.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Sunday, 11th April 2021, 10:51 am
Loyalist and republican youths threw petrol bombs and other missiles across the Lanark Way interface in west Belfast at the height of the disorder. Photo: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker

Others areas that had experienced loyalist protest activity, and some violent confrontations with police, were also quiet.

In the aftermath of serious rioting on either side of the Lanark Way peaceline in west Belfast on Thursday, and some further clashes on Friday, the PSNI said 88 officers have now suffered injuries as a result of the disturbances.

None of the injuries are reported to be serious.

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Friday night’s disorder mainly occurred in the Duncairn Gardens, Tigers Bay and North Queen Street areas.

Shortly after 5pm, petrol bombs and masonry, including roof tiles, were thrown at police and there was an attempt to hijack vehicles on Limestone Road

A car was also hijacked, set on fire and then pushed into police lines in North Queen Street.

Three male teenagers, all aged 14, were arrested during the disorder. All three have been released pending further enquiries, police said.

Following the disorder or Friday, Chief Inspector Darren Fox said: “These were disgraceful scenes, which lasted until approximately 1am, that unfolded on the streets of our city last night.

“This was reckless and dangerous criminal behaviour which resulted in a number of our officers sustaining injury.

“Thankfully, most of these injuries are not serious. However, a male officer was knocked unconscious and required hospital treatment.

“As you can imagine, none of our officers go out expecting to be attacked in this way.”

C/Insp Fox added: “Again, we reiterate our message that this shameful and senseless behaviour is achieving nothing other than wrecking local communities. Residents in these areas, or indeed anywhere, do not want or deserve to experience the fear many of them will have felt in recent nights.

“I am appealing to all those with influence to help bring this violence to an end and, to parents, guardians and community leaders, we ask that you use your influence to ensure we do not see a repeat of such disorder.

“The community can be reassured we will continue to work to keep people safe, and an investigation is underway and evidence gathered will now be reviewed and those identified will face the full rigour of the law.”