ACC Stephen Martin has hit at those behind last night's violence in Belfast

ACC Stephen Martin has hit at those behind last night’s violence in Belfast

A SENIOR PSNI injured in a night of violence in north Belfast was hit by a lump of masonry that “effectively severed his ear”.

A total of 25 police officers were injured and a 16-year-old girl was struck by a car as trouble flared in Belfast on Monday night.

The teenager was trapped under the car at the Crumlin Road and is in hospital. A man has now been arrested for attempted murder.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin has hit out at the marshalling of Monday’s Orange Order parades.

Loyalists withdrew their marshalls for this year’s parade after the Parades Commission banned a Ligoniel feeder parade from returning past the Ardoyne shop fronts.

Speaking at a press conference earlier today, ACC Martin said police had hoped for more effective marshalling by parade organisers.

“There was marshalling of the parades last year that did not occur last night – that is regrettable,” he said.

Twenty officers were injured in north Belfast and five in the city centre, he said.

The officer whose ear was severed is expected to undergo surgery today.

Police fired five plastic bullets and four are believed to have struck people.

ACC Martin said the situation in north Belfast had been very tense.

“The police were looking in three directions: Woodvale, Twaddell and Ardoyne,” he said.

“Last night does not compare in terms of scale, breadth or volume to 2013. I’m grateful for that, but I would have preferred if it had been similar to last year.”

He said he did not not believe the violence was orchestrated in terms of paramilitary groups or organised criminality, but rather it was “young people exploiting the situation”.

One police officer was bitten so badly on the hand that he received 12 stitches.

Officers were injured as missiles were thrown when police enforced a restriction to a contentious Orange parade.

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