Chief Constable says 'New IRA' orchestrating Derry/Londonderry violence

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Chief Constable George Hamilton with Chief Inspector Johnny Hunter speaking at a press conference in Derry/Londonderry about the recent disorder.

Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable George Hamilton has condemned recent violence in Derry/Londonderry: “Last night there was a significant increase in the ferocity of attacks against my officers in the Bogside area, with over 74 petrol bombs and two improvised explosive devices thrown at them in a prolonged and sustained attack.

“This was the sixth consecutive night of reckless violence, violence that I am confident is being orchestrated by dissident republicans, with the New IRA being the primary grouping responsible.

It is nothing short of a miracle that no one has been injured or killed so far.

“The gravity of the situation should not be underestimated. High velocity guns have been brought onto the streets along with explosive devices, all of which are intended to kill. Accordingly we are treating these attacks as attempts to murder police officers, ordinary men and women who are simply doing their jobs trying to protect the community and keep people safe.

Over recent days we have also seen that some very young people have been involved in violence directed against the community and against police officers. We have made a number of arrests and the majority of those arrested have been teenagers.  It is worrying that children and young people are involved in these attacks and it is clear they are being manipulated and influenced by a more sinister violent dissident republican element.

Those behind the violence are denying the community their most basic human rights of living in peace and without fear.

“It is heartening to see political and religious leaders coming out to condemn the violence. People in this great city need to use whatever influence they can to bring this reckless disorder to an end and  I am calling on everyone within the community and all political parties to use any influence they have to make it stop immediately before someone is killed.”