Police in NI has once again been the victim of an attack in a further night of violence in some loyalist areas across the region. Monday saw petrol bombs being thrown at Carrickfergus officers and a car set alight in the Waterside in Londonderry.
Police have mentioned that the recent attacks were “clearly orchestrated”.
The PSNI is also probing an “un-notified parade” comprising masked men in Jervis Street in Portadown on Monday.
In the recent incidents, about 20 young people were grouped at the site of a car set on fire in Sperrin Park in Derry, the seventh night in eight, which witnessed violence in the city.
A fire was also lit in North Road’s middle in Carrickfergus, with petrol bombs being intermittently thrown at police.
After a meeting between politicians, business groups and Ch Supt Darrin Jones on Monday, manager of Derry City Centre Initiative Jim Roddy insisted on bringing to an end to the “ongoing cycle of violence”.”It is clear that some of the young people who are involved in this criminal activity are unaware of the consequences of their actions and are being misled by adults with more sinister agendas,” he mentioned in a statement.
“This violence is putting lives at risk, and together, we feel we need speak out to ask those who are orchestrating this to stop now, before someone is seriously hurt or a life is lost.”
The police and political parties have recurrently called for calm, with the conflicts blamed on loyalist frustrations over a PPS (Public Prosecution Service) verdict not to accuse people who attended the large-scale funeral of republican Bobby Storey in June 2020, as well as concerns about the NI Protocol in the Brexit deal.
The DUP leaders, UUP and TUV have asked for Chief Constable Simon Byrne to step down over the PSNI’s handling of the funeral, which was attended by several senior Sinn Féin politicians, comprising Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.
The NI Protocol has amplified checks and caused interruption for some goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Regarding the repeated attacks on police, Ulster Unionist assembly member Doug Beattie mentioned that there needed to be “strong, sensible leadership” from the chief constable.
“We don’t believe that we’ve got that,” he told to BBC NI’s Good Morning Ulster on Tuesday.
“We absolutely support our police service, and I think they have been caught in the crossfire again of political failure. I hold my own hand up when I say that political failure has led us to where we are now. We are in extremely difficult times.”