Petrol, paint bombs seized and mock device destroyed as trouble brews in Derry

Police have seized petrol and paint bombs and arrested a teenager for allegedly trying to set fire to a sign in the Galliagh area of Derry as trouble flared overnight.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 8:56 am
Some of the items seized by police.

A PSNI spokesperson said the PSNI Ballyarnett Neighbourhood Police Team responded to phone calls from the public regarding a suspect device and a group of hooded youths gathering in the area of Fern Park with petrol bombs.

“Upon seeing Police this group lit a petrol bomb and charged towards them. The group quickly changed their minds when they found Police pursuing them on foot. A number of discarded petrol bombs, paint bombs and bottles were seized.

“Thankfully this group of youths were deterred from causing any damage or disruption to the area. Police would like to thank members of the community who were also present on the ground tonight, working together to stop anti-community behaviour.”

Police later said that the Ballyarnett team on patrol had chased and arrested a 15 year old who was allegedly observed setting fire to road sign on the Moss Road.

A large group of eight youths meanwhile threw items at the police vehicle in the same area.

Police have urged parents to ensure their children are not involved in disturbances.

A spokesperson said: “Parents, do you know where your children are? You do not want to be the next one getting a phone call explaining that your child is in the cells.”

MOCK DEVICE

Meanwhile community activists in the area destroyed a mock device after engaging with young people and ensuring they handed it over, and also intervened after bins were set alight in the area.

Galliagh Community Response in a post on Facebook yesterday said they had been informed of a planned riot in the area as youths gathered, many of them coming from outside Galliagh.

The group stated: “G.C.R has been informed of an arranged riot and hoax device being made and planned in the area for today, we were able to locate and engage with the young people involved.”

G.C.R. said the young people told them they were reacting in protest to events in Creggan earlier this week for which police have come under criticism.

“After a long discussion they gave up the mock device and dispersed, the GCR destroyed the mock device which was a men’s deodorant can with wires and black tape.”

The group also stated that bins were burnt on Moss Road and they engaged with different youths, “many again not from the area and quickly defused the situation”.

“A portable toilet was also toppled over by the gang which we were able to fix and will contact the contractors to have it removed or secured over weekend periods.”