16 times as many riots in Belfast as Derry

editorial image

Belfast is significantly more riotous than Derry according to eye-opening new figures released by the PSNI.

Over the past five tax years the PSNI recorded that there were 16 times as many riots in the Belfast City policing district as there were in the Derry and Strabane area, despite the city being only twice as populous.

There were 22 times as many arrests for public order offences in Belfast.

The data - newly released by the PSNI in response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request - show that between 2013/14 and 2017/18 - there were no less than 49 riots in Belfast. A hundred and thirty seven people were arrested in Belfast in connection with rioting during those same five tax years.

In the Derry and Strabane policing district, by contrast, there were just three recorded riots and only six arrests.

What’s more - despite widespread perceptions - Derry wasn’t even the third most riotous area in the North, notwithstanding its being the second biggest city.

In fact, there were more frequent incidences of mass disorder in the Antrim and Newtownabbey policing area between 2013/14 and 2017/18.

Although marginally smaller in population than Derry and Strabane, there were four riots and seven arrests in Antrim and Newtownabbey.

The only other area where riots were recorded over the half decade was in Mid and East Antrim where there were there were two reported riots and one recorded arrest.

It’s worth noting the period excludes the first half of this, the 2018/19 financial year, during which there were disturbances in Creggan in the run up to a republican Easter Rising commemoration, and in the Bogside during the week of the Orange Order’s July 12 commemorations, which were mentioned from the floors of both the Oireachtas and the House of Commons in Westminster.