‘Parents key to tackling interface violence’

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Parents of young people at risk of getting caught up in violence at a sectarian interface in Derry have been urged to assume greater responsibility for their children.

The warning comes after several nights of trouble in the Bishop Street/Fountain area.

A 13-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of possession of petrol bombs and riotous behaviour on Saturday night. He has since been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Speaking on Saturday, after around forty youths were involved in disorder on Friday night, PSNI Area Commander, Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said: “ I would urge all parents to know the whereabouts of their children and to ensure they are safe and not involved in incidents like we saw in the Fountain area last night.

“The possibility of serious injury or death is very real when lethal weapons such as petrol bombs are thrown. The disorder in the area also put members of the community at risk as emergency services vehicles were unable to access certain areas of the city for a time last night.

“Young people engaging in serious disorder must be aware that when caught they will be dealt with through the courts and will face the consequences a criminal conviction will bring.”

This morning, a local Sinn Fein councillor said that parental responsibility is key to prevent sectarian interface violence.

Patricia Logue said residents had been subjected to the violence for almost a week.

“There can be no rolling back the clock on this, or allowing these recent incidents to fester. Sectarianism, from whatever quarter it comes from, is wrong and Sinn Féin has been consistent in condemning it across the board. The wrecking, burning and residents been held hostage in their homes at night has to stop.

“There is a clear issue of parental responsibility when we have children from the ages of nine and ten up to fifteen years of age involved in this carry-on. Parents really need to be asking where their children are at night and find out if they involved in this violence.

“Key to this is early intervention to stop these attacks from happening and stop young people ending up before the courts and the implications that will have for their futures.”