Northern Ireland news

Police 'reviewing video footage' after north Belfast teens power Xbox using street light

A photograph posted on social media showed a gang with a TV and Xbox wired into a street light
Marie Louise McConville

POLICE have said they are "reviewing video footage" from north Belfast where in one neighbourhood anti-social behaviour is rife.

As reported in The Irish News yesterday such is the lawlessness among some youths in the New Lodge area, that masked teenagers have been photographed playing a games console plugged into a street light, admitting they they had petrol bombs to protect an internment bonfire.

The youths posted the picture of themselves on social media, saying they had ordered take-away food to the site and were ready to defend themselves at the location of the internment bonfire, which is due to be lit on the eve of the August 9 anniversary of the introduction of detention without trial in 1971.

The photograph, believed to have been taken on Monday night, was posted with the message: `Newlodge lads with a beatbox, TV & Xbox to a lamp, grub on the way and most importantly, petrol bombs at the ready".

It comes following reports of increasing antisocial behaviour in the area, known locally as ‘The Barracks’, behind Duncairn Parade.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker told the Irish News that residents feel that "antisocial elements have control of this part of the New Lodge and they have no fear of any authority".

Police revealed yesterday that officers are "reviewing video footage" taken from nearby York Road on Tuesday night where "a group of young people threw masonry and paint bombs at police vehicles".

Chief Inspector Kelly Moore said:

"This reckless, criminal behaviour poses an unacceptable danger to members of the public, police officers and indeed those who are engaged in this activity.

"Our evidence gathering vehicle was deployed once again yesterday evening and local officers are currently reviewing video footage. We will seek to identify those involved who can expect to be the subject of further police investigation and action".

She added: "It is critical that the young people who choose to engage in anti-social behaviour understand that it is unacceptable and it must stop. We don’t want anyone injured or worse. We want people to take responsibility. We want residents to feel safe in their own homes.

"We will continue to deploy resources, from local officers, supported by our tactical support group and evidence gathering colleagues patrolling north Belfast to prevent anti-social behaviour and detect those involved".

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