Second night of disorder, Broadway area, Belfast
04 Jul 2010
Six police officers have been injured during disturbances in the Broadway and Bog Meadows areas of Belfast for a second night.
Police responding to reports of large crowds gathering in the area of the Broadway roundabout at around 8.30pm on Saturday 3 July came under sustained attack from stones, fireworks, paint and petrol bombs.
Police land rovers also came under physical attack from crowds of individuals wielding sign posts and pieces of masonry. One man is believed to have attacked a police vehicle with an axe.
A number of gas cylinders were also thrown into the road and a car was set alight during the disturbances.
Area Commander Chief Inspector Emma Mooney said: "The scenes of wanton violence were an absolute disgrace and I would ask anyone involved in this behaviour stop immediately as it is totally unwelcome and unacceptable. They should stop and consider the fact that they risk not just injuring themselves but causing misery to the vast majority of the people in this area who just want to live in peace.
"I would also urge those within the community with influence to use that influence on those intent on causing disruption for the communities that they live in.
"I believe this disorder is being orchestrated and organised. On Saturday, we carried out searches in the area and recovered a number of items which we believe were being stored for use on Saturday night.
"This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated, we will take a robust approach to it and will not hesitate to bring prosecutions against anyone found to be acting in a disorderly manner.
"Police are here to protect all of the community and we are committed to working with communities but this cannot be solved through policing alone. We need to work together to solve this issue."
Police were forced to close the Stockman's Lane off slip and the Westlink at Clifton Street at around 11.40pm due to the danger of thrown items landing on the carriageway or striking passing vehicles.
A number of AEP rounds were discharged by police. The Office of the Police Ombudsman has been informed in line with agreed protocol.
The injured police officers sustained various head and body injuries after being struck with missiles including paint bombs and masonry. One officer was hit on the head with an iron bar. None of the officers required hospital treatment for their injuries.
A local fast food restaurant was also broken into by the rioters and significant damage was caused. Two tills from the premises were later recovered.
The area was calm by around 3am.
It's believed a number of the rioters may have come from outside the local area and police are appealing for the public's help in identifying all of the individuals involved. Witnesses or those with information are asked to contact Grosvenor Road police station on 0845 600 8000.
Alternatively the Crimestoppers charity can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.