Mid and East Antrim policing partnership urges end to ‘destruction’

The chair of Mid and Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership has appealed for calm after violent disturbances in the borough in recent days.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 12:53 pm

DUP Councillor John McDermott issued the plea today (Wednesday) after police were pelted with petrol bombs and pieces of masonry during several days of unrest across a number of areas in Northern Ireland, which has been described as “orchestrated”.

Four police officers were hurt in Carrickfergus on Sunday night after sustaining leg, foot and neck injuries. Further unrest took place in the town the following night. On Monday, nine officers were injured during disorder in Ballymena.

Cllr McDermott said: “I strongly urge anyone involved in the activity we have witnessed across Mid and East Antrim over the past weekend, to stop immediately as they are putting their own communities and themselves at risk of serious injury or worse.

There was trouble on the North Road, Carrickfergus, earlier in the week. Pic: Pacemaker

“Those taking part are very often young people who face the prospect of a criminal record and the loss of future life chances by getting involved in these incidents, which are damaging people’s lives, property and livelihoods.

“We have a strong and supportive community spirit in Mid and East Antrim and it is essential that we are not drawn into further violence and destruction on our streets.”

His party colleague and Mid and East Antrim Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston has also called for calm in wake of the disorder.

In a statement on Tuesday, Cllr Johnston said: “Whilst there is clearly a significant level of frustration across many communities at present, violence is never the answer and there is no place for it in our borough.

Councillor John McDermott.

“Unrest of this nature is in no one’s interests and only serves to heighten tensions within local communities, rather than solve them. I am therefore appealing for calm and strongly urge people not to get drawn into disorder of any kind.”

Click here to read: Latest loyalist rioting saw missiles thrown onto motorway and taxi bricked.

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