EXTRA POLICE FOR DERRY AHEAD OF LADY THATCHER FUNERAL

Chief Inspector Jon Burrows has called in extra police resources for Derry/Londonderry

Chief Inspector Jon Burrows has called in extra police resources for Derry/Londonderry

THE PSNI is drafting extra police resources into Derry/Londonderry to coincide with the funeral of Baroness Thatcher on Wednesday.

Residents in the mainly Protestant Fountain estate in the city said they have been under siege from nationalist youths for seven nights following the death of the former Prime Minister on Monday.

Now in response, city police chiefs have called in extra Tactical Support Group (TSG) officers for Wednesday fearing the violence will escalate further as Baroness Thatcher’s funeral is held in St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Wednesday morning.

A ‘street party’ has been planned at Free Derry Corner for Wednesday to coincide with the funeral of Lady Thatcher, who died last week aged 87.

Police said they will have “sufficient” resources for the event.

During the worst of the violence on Friday night, around 25 petrol bombs were thrown into the Fountain estate while the police also came under attack.

There was more trouble on Saturday and Sunday nights and residents say they are living in fear.

A 13-year-old was arrested for questioning for possession of a petrol bomb and riotous behaviour and was released pending further inquiries.

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has condemned the attacks on the Fountain estate.

He said: “The ongoing attacks on the Fountain estate are disgraceful.

“It is same the mob who are usually wreaking havoc in bogside. They have no respect or regard for anyone,” he added.

Local DUP councillor Gary Middleton said the situation needed to be calmed down before it escalated.

“There has been dozens of petrol bombs being thrown, stones, bricks, it’s just the constant violence up towards the Bishop Street interface towards the Protestant Fountain Estate,” he said.

“The concern is the age of the people doing this, they are young people, they are children, they are being put up to this.”

He added: “I hope that the representatives in that area, particularly the Bogside area, do step up to the mark.

“We need to see people on the ground, calming the situation before it escalates again.”

Resident William Jackson said the parents of those responsible need to do something.

“Considering that some of these children are aged 10, they must be going into the house smelling of petrol, smoke, so why are their parents not asking questions?” he asked.

“We’re just now waiting to see what’s going to happen on Wednesday when the funeral takes place, that’s where our fear is now at this minute in time.”

Following Friday night’s trouble, PSNI Chief Inspector Jon Burrows warned that someone would be killed or seriously injured if the violence didn’t stop.

And he urged parents to know the whereabouts of their children.

Said Chief Inspector Burrows: “I would urge all parents to know the whereabouts of their children and to ensure they are safe and not involved in incidents like we saw.

“The possibility of serious injury or death is very real when lethal weapons such as petrol bombs are thrown.

“The disorder in the area also put members of the community at risk as emergency services vehicles were unable to access certain areas of the city.”

 

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