Patrols stepped up amid reports of mass brawls

Elisha McCallion in Galliagh.
Elisha McCallion in Galliagh.

PSNI Detectives in Derry have stepped up patrols in Galliagh amid reports that youths are taking part in fights organised through social media.

Sergeant Phil Martin from the City North Neighbourhood Policing Team has now issued a call for people in the estate to pass on any information they have about such incidents.

The alarm was raised by Sinn Féin Councillor Elisha McCallion this week following reports of mass brawls over several nights, one of them outside St Joseph’s Church, which is known locally as the White Chapel.

One resident claimed that there must have been up to 100 boys and girls fighting during another episode this week.

Sergeant Martin said: “We received reports that a group of youths was fighting in the area of the White Chapel on Monday and in Glencaw Park on Tuesday.

“Police attended but could not locate any fights and we have had no reports at this stage of injuries.

“Neighbourhood officers have increased patrols in the area in recent weeks and are working with residents and community workers to reduce incidents of destructive or antisocial behaviour.”

Colr. McCallion has described the incidents as “a very worrying development”.

She said: “Residents are fearful of where this is all going to end up and that someone will get seriously injured.”

SDLP Colr. Brian Tierney added: ““It is shocking to hear that young people are organising fights over social media.

“I would urge parents to know where their children are as such incidents could lead to someone being seriously injured or worse.”