Video footage of organised street fights in Dungannon involving gangs of men have sparked a surge of racist abuse on social media.
Clips of the brawls have appeared on the internet and it is claimed that many of those involved are foreign nationals.
The footage has been condemned by members of Dungannon’s migrant community but other residents have since posted offensive statements on social media referring to the town as “Dunganistan”, followed by calls to “deport, not report” its foreign nationals.
One online video clip which shows two gangs fighting is understood to have been filmed at Railway Park in the town.
PSNI Inspector Keith Jamieson said: “We are aware of these incidents and we are working with the community in an effort to resolve the situation. We will also be increasing patrols in the area as a preventative and reassuring measure.
“I am aware that these fights are being organised online and I would appeal to anyone with information in relation to this to contact police in the first instance so we can act swiftly.”
Police also received a report of an altercation in the Perry Street area shortly after 3am on July 24. One man in his twenties was taken to hospital with an injury to his face.
A third report was made to police of a group of people fighting in the Irish Street on the evening of Saturday, July 30.
Police patrolled the area and spoke with a number of people. There were no arrests and no complaints were made during the incident, police said.
UUP councillor Walter Cuddy said the East Timorese community in the town were “very friendly people, and don’t give much hassle”. Many of those he knew through his business were “outraged” by the organised brawls, he said.
“There must have been some sort of domestic with them as I can’t see why they are organising these fights,” he added.
“I own a newsagents in the town centre and a number of the East Timor community have been in the shop in recent days and expressed their disgust at what happened.”