A top North West police officer has issued a stark warning about parental neglect after five children were arrested in the Bogside and Greater Shantallow areas of Londonderry on suspicion of riotous behaviour on Tuesday night (July 14).
The arrests followed the establishment of blazing road blocks in the Bogside and Greater Shantallow areas and the petrol bombing of police officers who moved to clear the blockades.
Chief Inspector Andy Lemon said: “The prompt actions of our officers prevented a reoccurrence of the disorder we saw the previous night.
“It is concerning to see teenagers, some as young as 14, getting caught up in this violence and I appeal to parents to make it their business to know where their children are and what they are doing.”
Chief Inspector Lemon went on to send out a direct message to children who are getting involved in the public disorder. “Young people need to listen to our message - you run the very real risk of being arrested and getting a criminal record which could affect your life for a very long time.
“I appeal to anyone with any information about those involved in the disorder last night to contact police at Strand Road on the non-emergency number 101,” he said.
Police originally received reports of young people setting pallets and rubbish on fire in the Lecky Road and Westland Street areas of the Bogside.
Police officers responded immediately to the reports and a number of petrol bombs and missiles were thrown at them.
There followed five arrests. All of those arrested were under 18.
Four young males, one aged 14 and three aged 16, were arrested in the Westland Street area on suspicion of riotous behaviour. They were subsequently released on police bail pending further enquiries.
A 16 year old male was arrested in the Collon Lane area on suspicion of disorderly behaviour.
He has been released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service. A crate of petrol bombs and number of other items were seized by police.