Petrol bombs thrown at officers during security alert

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers were attacked by youths throwing petrol bombs as they responded to a security alert in Derry/Londonderry last night (August 5).

Aug 6, 2020
By Paul Jacques

Trouble flared as the PSNI dealt with a suspicious object left on the Skeoge Road, later declared “an elaborate hoax”.

The PSNI said the disorder involved a number of youths “who threw petrol bombs and paint bombs at police”.

It was the third night of disorder in the city, described by the Derry and Strabane district commander, Chief Superintendent Emma Bond, as totally “unacceptable”.

The PSNI said later that evening, at around 10.30pm, it received a report that a white recovery truck was hijacked in the vicinity of the Galliagh Roundabout.

“The driver and his passenger were stopped by two, possibly three men, on the road. One of the men then poured fuel inside the vehicle, covering the driver. Both males managed to escape from the vehicle in what was a terrifying ordeal for them and get to safety before the truck was set alight,” said the PSNI.

“Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and police attended the scene where a crowd of around 150 people had gathered. Some of those who had gathered threw missiles, including stones and bottles, at officers. A petrol bomb was also thrown but failed to ignite.”

As this was taking place, the PSNI received a report of an attempted hijacking in Galliagh Park where a woman was stopped by a young masked male who tried to take her vehicle – a black Kia – using a wheel brace.

“The woman managed to flee to safety. Damage was caused to the car door, and the woman was understandably left shaken,” said the PSNI.

“At around 12.40am today (August 6), we received a report that a van was hijacked in the Fergleen Park area and set on fire.

“Another attempted hijacking was reported just after 2am this morning; this time in the Fairview Road area. It was reported around 20 masked individuals, some armed with metal bars, tried to take a man’s car, but without success.”

Chief Supt Bond said: “This has been the third night of disorder in our city at the hands of cowards determined to cause disruption in our communities. It is unacceptable and I am very disappointed people made a deliberate decision to go out onto the streets and cause trouble.

“Yesterday, the world’s media was focused on the city as John Hume was laid to rest.

“The scenes in our communities last night are not representative of this city.

“I want to stress the disorder we have seen on our streets over the past few nights has been caused by a minority of people who have absolutely no regard for our communities being impacted, and the people who live here.”

Chief Supt Bond said she was urging those who have been engaged in the recent violence, and anyone tempted to become involved in this type of criminal behaviour, to “stop and consider the consequences of their actions, and desist immediately”.

“I would also urge anyone, including those who gathered to watch this disorder last night to understand this is not entertainment,” she added. “This is dangerous, reckless activity, which has a significant impact on not only the people whose vehicles were targeted, but also on the local communities.”

Chief Supt Bond said they had gathered evidence in relation to the incidents and were working to identify those responsible and those involved. She assured the public that “we will be working towards making arrests”.

“Our priority is keeping people safe, and I want to reassure the people of this city that our response, should there be any further disorder, will continue to be proportionate and we will deploy the necessary resources to detect and deter those responsible,” added Chief Supt Bond.

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