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Children aged SIX involved in attacks by officers in Londonderry

Children aged SIX involved in attacks by officers in Londonderry

Children as young as six were involved in the riots in Londonderry and officers were attacked.

Police vehicles were pelted with paint and petrol bombs, heavy stones and fireworks during the riot that broke out as officers tried to deal with the victim’s death.


A security alert was raised at around 7.45pm on Tuesday following the discovery of a suspicious device on Southway in the Creggan area.

The alert was later discovered to be a “concocted hoax.”

Children as young as six participated in the Londonderry riotsCable TV

Chief Inspector Gillian Kearney described the issue as “senseless” and said the involvement of children amounted to “criminal exploitation”.

The riot broke out just before 8pm and lasted until around midnight.

“It is disgraceful that such a mess occurred when officers were dealing with such a sensitive case,” she said.

“It will also cause harm to local communities and divert our resources from the issues that matter most to us.

“There are reports of children as young as six and seven being involved. This is criminal child exploitation.

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“It also serves to harm local communities and divert our resources from addressing the issues that matter most to us.”

A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of inciting a riot.

There were no reports of injuries, but several police vehicles were damaged.

Kearney continued: “We know from the work our officers do every day that what happened last night has caused anger in the local community and the wider area.

“I want to assure the community that my officers will be working today to take drugs off the streets, respond to domestic violence calls and protect communities from those who would harm the most vulnerable. I want to commend the officers involved last night.”

Colum Eastwood said: “The people of Derry don’t want that. And none of us want children wasting opportunities by getting involved in that.”

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Politicians have criticised the involvement of children in the attack, with Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader Colum Eastwood appealing for calm in Londonderry.

He said: “It is particularly distressing to hear that children may have been involved, risking their futures by recklessly attacking police Land Rovers.

“The people of Derry don’t want that. And none of us want kids wasting opportunities by getting involved in that.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Unionist Party assemblyman for Foyle Gary Middleton said the reports of young children being involved were “beyond belief”.

He said: “They were used and exploited by people in the area who had no value for the lives of these children and the lives of the police officers who were attacked.

“This was a disgraceful attack on police officers who work on behalf of the entire community to keep us safe.”