Materials on Derry bonfire ‘being treated as hate crimes’ - PSNI

The PSNI have said they are treating reports of materials placed on a bonfire in Derry as ‘hate crimes’.

Derry City & Strabane Superintendent Willy Calderwood said police have received a number of reports ‘in relation to material placed on a bonfire in Meenan Square in the Bogside area of Derry/Londonderry’.

“These reports are being treated as hate crimes and we are seeking to identify those responsible,” he said, adding:

“Potential offences include the theft and destruction of political material, flags, banners, hate slogans and poppy wreaths.”

The bonfire in the Bogside before it was lit last night.

Supt. Calderwood said that as part of their enquiries, the PSNI ‘have gathered and secured evidence of potential offending’ and ‘we will engage with the Public Prosecution Service who will ultimately have responsibility for decisions in relation to prosecution’.

“The vast majority of people celebrate their culture peacefully and lawfully, and do not want cultural celebrations to be undermined by anti-social behaviour, criminal activity or hate directed towards others,” he added.

“I’m appealing for anyone with any further information, but specifically information on those who may have been responsible for the potential offences to provide it to us to bring those responsible to justice.”

A PSNI spokesperson said anyone with any information is asked contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101 or alternatively, Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org