Echauffourées à Belfast – juillet 2010

Six officers injured in organised Belfast riots

The Irish Times

Monday, July 5, 2010

SIX POLICE officers have been injured in a second night of orchestrated rioting in Belfast, the PSNI has said.

Nine police vehicles were damaged as officers came under attack from stones, fireworks, petrol bombs, paint, masonry and, on one occasion, an axe.

Trouble flared in the Broadway area at a major junction between the M1 motorway and the Westlink. About 100 rioters began attacking police, who responded with plastic bullets. The police ombudsman is investigating the firing of the rounds. The trouble eased at about 3am yesterday.

Some gas cylinders were thrown into the road at the Broadway roundabout, and a car was set alight. A fast food outlet was broken into and substantial damage caused. Two cash tills were later recovered.

A senior police officer said it was believed the trouble was pre-planned, but added it was difficult to say by whom. The PSNI has appealed for more information, especially regarding the possibility that the rioters came into the area from elsewhere to target police.

“The violence that we saw last night was orchestrated,” Chief Insp Emma Mooney said.

Police searches in the area before trouble began for a second night uncovered bottles, masonry and other items which could be used in riot situations, she added.

Rioting had flared on Friday night in the same locality when four police vehicles were attacked.

The injured officers suffered head and upper body wounds. None are said to have life-threatening injuries.

Police call for calm after gang fight erupts into full-scale riot

By Amanda Poole

Monday, 5 July 2010

The PSNI has appealed for calm in west Belfast after six police officers were injured when serious “orchestrated” violence erupted.

Police have vowed to deploy extra resources in the area after officers came under attack from a crowd of around 100 people on Saturday night.

Baton rounds were fired during the disturbances in the Broadway and Bog Meadow areas which left six PSNI officers injured, with one struck on the head by an iron bar. Petrol bombs and fireworks were also thrown at police responding to reports of crowds gathering at 8.30pm on Saturday.

Officers searched undergrowth and discovered a large quantity of items to make petrol bombs.

Police were forced to close the Stockman’s Lane off slip and the Westlink at Clifton Street at around 11.40pm amid fears the violence would affect drivers.

Rioters also broke into a fast food restaurant and significant damage was caused. Two tills from the premises were later recovered.

The area returned to calm at 3am yesterday and the Police Ombudsman was informed that baton rounds were fired.

Saturday’s violence came after fighting broke out between rival groups in the same area on Friday evening, with missiles thrown at passing cars and damage to police vehicles.

One man was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and another arrested on suspicion of riotous behaviour. Both were later released pending a report to the PPS.

Area Commander for west Belfast Chief Inspector Emma Mooney said: “The level of violence, running into four or five hours was disgraceful, and is to be condemned. I am pleased to say that all officers have fully recovered from this attack. At this time of year tensions are raised, but an awful lot of hard work and effort has gone on in west and south Belfast and this will not be undone by reckless individuals. They aren’t welcome by ourselves or the community.”

Ms Mooney appealed to the community “to display influence to ensure a peaceful and happy summer season for everyone”.

Sinn Fein councillor Breige Brownlee said: “Historically there are clashes at this time of year. Residents say the rioters don’t represent the people and are calling for them to stay away.

“What happened was recreational rioting, with hoods from Ballymurphy and Divis arriving in cars. This area deserves peace and is a not a showground for anti-social behaviour. Sinn Fein support the community workers on both sides who are trying to get through the marching season together.”

Acting chairman of the Policing Board, Brian Rea, also condemned the attacks on police officers “who were doing their job to keep the peace and protect the public”.

Six police injured in ‘orchestrated’ sectarian Belfast riots


July 05, 2010

A local restaurant was also broken into during the melee and sustained serious damage, but two cash registers were later recovered. It was not immediately clear whether any money was in them.

« The scenes of wanton violence were an absolute disgrace and I would ask anyone involved in this behaviour (to) stop immediately as it is totally unwelcome and unacceptable… they risk not just injuring themselves but causing misery to the vast majority of the people in this area who just want to live in peace, » said Area Commander Chief Inspector Emma Mooney.

« I believe this disorder is being orchestrated and organized.

« On Saturday, we carried out searches in the area and recovered a number of items which we believe were being stored for use on Saturday night… Police are here to protect all of the community and we are committed to working with communities, but this cannot be solved through policing alone. We need to work together to solve this issue. »

The PSNI added that a significant number of rioters possibly came from other areas to join the violence – lending credence to the theory of an orchestrated campaign of violence.

The injured police officers did not require hospital treatment and the area was calm and secured by the early hours of Sunday morning.

Four police Land Rovers have been damaged during rioting in west Belfast on Friday night.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

The trouble happened at the Broadway interface

Officers were attacked by crowds of up to 100 people throwing bricks, bottles and petrol bombs in the Broadway area at about 2030 BST.

Missiles were also thrown between rival groups and a number fights took place at the roundabout.

Police again came under petrol bomb attack after midnight, while missiles were thrown at passing cars.

Officers patrolling in the Bog Meadows area also came under petrol bomb attack.

A number of items believed to have been used in the making of petrol bombs were removed from the area by police.

The trouble stopped at about 0330 BST.

One person was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and another on suspicion of riotous behaviour. Both were released pending a report to the PPS.

Police attacked during Belfast riot

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rival group of rioters threw bricks, bottles and petrol bombs at police in west Belfast last night.

Up to 100 people were reported to have been involved in the violence in the Broadway area that started at approximately 8.30pm and continued sporadically until 3am.

Objects were also thrown at passing cars. Police made two arrests and files are being sent to the Public Prosecution Service.

Police attacked during riots in Belfast

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Police came under attack last night during rioting in the Broadway area of south Belfast.

Four police vehicles were damaged during the disturbance, which began around 8.15pm when police received reports of youths gathering in the area.

Officers came under attack from a crowd of up to 100 youths throwing bricks, bottles and petrol bombs.

A number of others vehicles were damaged but there were no reports of any injuries.

Police said rival gangs threw missiles at each other and a number of people were seen physically fighting.

Two males were arrested at the scene.

One was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon, the other on suspicion of riotous behaviour.

Both were later released and a file has been sent to the Public Prosecution Service.

Police maintained a presence in the area for several hours and were attacked with petrol bombs shortly after midnight.

Elsewhere, officers patrolling in the Bog Meadows area, a short distance away, came under attack from petrol bombs.

A number of items believed to have been used in the making of petrol bombs were removed by the police.

Calm was restored around 3.30am.

An investigation has been launched and police are appealing for witnesses.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 4 juillet 2010.

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