Children “well under ten years-old” were among rioters who attacked police in Derry this week.
Thirteen people were arrested after violence flared in several nationalist areas of the city as the ‘Twelfth’ drew to a close.
Petrol bombs, stones and other missiles were thrown at police during disorder in the Bogside, Gobnascale and Curryneirin areas.
Two vehicles were hijacked while four were burned out during the trouble. Police also seized a crate of petrol bombs in Fahan Street. Sporadic trouble also flared in Limavady, Strabane and Castlederg.
Acting Chief Inspector Jon Burrows, who witnessed the disorder in Derry, said the “full rigours of the law” will be brought to bear on those involved in Tuesday night’s violence.
He said that “most” of the people arrested were teenage males, although one woman was also detained. “Shockingly, there were children well under ten years-old out in the Bogside throwing stones in the run up to midnight and - although some adults looked on - there wasn’t a parent in sight.”
He confirmed that fourteen year-old boy was among those arrested for riotous behaviour.
ACI Burrows said the violence was “sporadic in nature and nowhere near same scale” as the riots that gripped Belfast.
“Nonetheless, it was totally unacceptable and it’s obvious that the general public are sick and tired of it,” he added.
The police chief paid tribute to community workers for their efforts to quell the trouble and, in particular, the “diversionary work” undertaken to ensure young people did not get involved.
ACI Burrows said his officers were reviewing CCTV footage in an attempt to identify those who were engaged in the violence and “bring them to justice”.
He added that CCTV images may be circulated in the press with an appeal for public’s assistance to help identify those involved “if necessary”.
He said that as a result of the public’s assistance in identifying CCTV images of those involved in interface violence in the city last year, police had experienced a 90% reduction in interface violence in 2011.