Appeals for calm after fourth night of loyalist riots in Derry
POLITICAL leaders in Derry have appealed for calm after police and fire crews came under attack from loyalist rioters for a fourth consecutive night in the city's Waterside.
Petrol bombs and other missiles were thrown at police in the loyalist Lincoln Courts area.
The reasons for the riots were unclear. However, anti-police and anti-Northern Ireland protocol graffiti has appeared in recent days.
Derry PSNI district commander Darrin Jones said it was disappointing that “anti-social and criminal behaviour” had extended into a fourth night.
Police were called shortly after 9pm yesterday when youths with petrol bombs and other missiles gathered at the junction of Rossdowney Road and Lincoln Courts.
Pallets and wheelie bins were set alight on the road and officers came under attack. A digger parked at a nearby building site was set alight and fire crews were attacked when they responded.
"These reckless attacks are not wanted by anyone and do nothing but cause harm and damage to the local community who we know just want to live in peace," Mr Jones said.
"I will again stress young people engaging in this type of criminal behaviour are risking, not only their own safety, but they also face the possibility of a criminal conviction which can have life changing consequences. We are appreciative of the efforts of those in helping to de-escalate the disorder this week."
He appealed to parents and guardians and those with influence to help bring an end to “wanton destruction”.
DUP assembly member Gary Middleton said that while there were frustrations within the loyalist and unionist community, they should not be vented through attacks.
“Vent those (frustrations) in a democratic and a peaceful way; that’s the only way we are going to achieve anything,” Mr Middleton said.
Waterside Sinn Féin councillor Christopher Jackson said the rioting was “irresponsible” and needed to end.
“There is no appetite for this and there is no need for it,” Mr Jackson said.