Youths in Ebrington Halloween fair clashes

Ebrington Square.

Ebrington Square.

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Police will tonight step up patrols after dozens of young people became embroiled in clashes during a Halloween funfair in Derry last night.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the violence at Ebrington Square may have been pre-arranged via social media and may have been sectarian in nature.

A 15-year-old boy had to be treated in hospital for an injury to his nose after he was assaulted during the fracas in the Limavady Road area.

Police said they received reports of an altercation between groups of young people in the area of Ebrington Square at around 8.10pm last night.

Confirming they were investigating the matter, a PSNI spokesman said: “Police attended the scene and a number of groups who were in the area dispersed.

“Police will be conducting follow-up enquires into the incidents of last night and, where there is evidence of criminal offences being committed, there will be consequences for those involved.”

The police also issued a warning to young people planning on coming to Ebrington Square this evening and who are intent on causing trouble to stay away.

“Police will be increasing patrols and our visible presence in the area and will have a number of pieces of evidence gathering equipment at their disposal such as body worn cameras and CCTV recording,” the spokesperson said, adding:

“It’s not about spoiling fun, this is about keeping people safe.

“Please consider the consequences if you’re arrested and end up with a criminal conviction. A conviction can damage opportunities to travel, study and get the job you want.

“Parents and Guardians please have this discussion with your children and help them understand the possible consequences of poor decision making.”