Police use helicopter after youths attack officers in north Belfast park

The scene at the Waterworks Park in north Belfast where police were attacked and a fire was lit. Picture by Ann McManus
Gareth McKeown

A POLICE helicopter was called after officers came under attack in a north Belfast park on Saturday evening.

Just before 8pm police were called to reports that a large group of young people had gathered in the Waterworks Park on the Cavehill Road.

A fire had been started at a play park within the Waterworks and a police car tasked to the scene was then attacked by stones. An ambulance was also called to attend a report of a "highly intoxicated" 13-year-old girl.

Speaking yesterday Sergeant Greg Dawson said:

“Officers were assisted by local community representatives to disperse a crowd of around 30 young people and locate a teenage boy who had sustained a number of minor injuries in the park. During the evening we were also supported by our colleagues in the air support unit. The NIAS was called to attend to a highly intoxicated 13-year-old girl. Stones were thrown at a police car."

“We take all instances of anti-social or nuisance behaviour very seriously as we understand the impact these issues can have on communities. Young people are being put at risk by becoming involved in the kind of activity we saw last night. While they have every right to enjoy each other’s company, I would just like to remind them that what might initially seem like fooling about can sometimes get out of hand and end up in a criminal record which can affect travel, education and employment opportunities in the future. It is really important that young people understand this, " he added.

In a separate incident on Saturday evening police were called to disperse several large groups of drunken young people in Dunmurry.

It was reported by the BBC that young people were "walking out in front of cars and obstructing traffic" in the Kingsway/Dunmurry Lane area.

In a post on the PSNI West Belfast Facebook page on Saturday night parents were asked where their children were.

"We are dealing with several very large groups in the village tonight, many who are drunk. We have already brought several home to parents and suggest that you get in touch with your teenagers and come to collect them, otherwise you might find us at your door instead," the post read.

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