Creggan violence: Children 'as young as 6' involved as Derry police attacked during hoax alert

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A security alert in the Creggan of Derry on Tuesday evening, during which police came under attack, was ‘an elaborate hoax’, the PSNI have confirmed.

The disorder unfolded following the discovery of a suspicious device in the the Southway area at around 7.45pm.

A PSNI spokesperson said on Wednesday morning: “Police had been in the area yesterday afternoon dealing with a sudden death in Magowan Park. As officers were conducting enquiries in relation to this, they made the discovery.

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"A public safety operation was implemented with cordons put in place, however, up until around midnight, there was disorder with paint and petrol bombs, heavy masonry and fireworks being thrown at police. Some of those involved were children.”

Southway (File picture).Southway (File picture).
Southway (File picture).

Police said those involved in the disorder dispersed around midnight.

"Following examination of the suspicious device by Ammunition Technical Officers, the alert was described as an elaborate hoax,” the spokesperson continued.

A 36-year-old man arrested on suspicion of riotous behaviour on Tuesday night remained in custody overnight.

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Derry City & Strabane Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Gillian Kearney said: "The disorder that developed was utterly senseless. That disorder occurred as officers were dealing with such a sensitive incident is shameful."It also serves to damage local communities and divert our resources away from dealing with the things that matter most."There are reports of children as young as six and seven years old being involved. This is child criminal exploitation.“We know from the work our officers do on a daily basis, what happened last night will have provoked anger in the local community and wider area.”While damage was caused to police vehicles, no injuries to police officers have been reported at this time.

Derry City & Strabane Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Gillian Kearney. (File picture)Derry City & Strabane Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Gillian Kearney. (File picture)
Derry City & Strabane Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Gillian Kearney. (File picture)

Chief Superintendent Kearney added: "I want to reassure the community my officers will be out today working to remove drugs from the streets, responding to domestic abuse calls and protecting communities from those who seek to cause harm to the most vulnerable. I want to commend the officers involved last night."Police said an investigation is now under way and asked anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting reference 1510 of 09/07/24 or via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org