Northern Ireland news

Karen Bradley claims adults 'exploited and goaded' children into Derry violence

 Youths throwing petrol bombs in Derry's Bogside last week. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Press Association

Adults "exploited and goaded" children into violence in Derry last week, the Secretary of State has said.

Karen Bradley hit out as she responded to an urgent question in the Commons, which pressed her to update MPs on recent violence in the north.

Ms Bradley highlighted "serious disorder" in Belfast and Newtownards on July 11 following a court order to remove unsafe bonfires, along with "sporadic, isolated acts of violence" in the subsequent days.

She also condemned "unrelated but serious disorder" in Derry last week, including petrol bombs and a shooting attack against police.

The city's Bogside area saw six consecutive nights of violence which saw children as young as eight throw dozens of petrol bombs at officers. Debris was also set alight and a van was set on fire.

Karen Bradley has hit out at last week's violence

Ms Bradley told MPs: "As the chief constable informed me this morning, there have been so far 15 arrests in connection with the violence in Londonderry and 10 people have been charged."

She added: "In many cases it would appear that young people are being exploited and goaded into criminal activity by adults who have nothing to offer their communities."

A bonfire on Bloomfield Walkway in east Belfast was set alight as contractors moved in to remove pallets. Picture by Mal McCann

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