26/03/2018

14-Year-Old Boy Sustains Head Injuries In Suspected Sectarian Attack

Police are investigating a suspected sectarian attack on a 14-year-old boy in north Belfast.

According to reports, the teenager was beaten with sticks by a group of three youths during more than an hour of disturbances close the North Queen Street interface on Saturday, 24 March.

It is understood that a "crowd of people" watched the attack. The boy needed hospital treatment for head injuries following the incident.

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín said that she has been in contact with the PSNI about ongoing anti-social behaviour in the New Lodge area and will be meeting police and other statutory bodies to co-ordinate a response to the problem.

Caral Ní Chuilín said: "There has been an issue with anti-social behaviour involving a number of youths at the bottom of the New Lodge Road and the Barrack area over recent days.
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"This has involved vandalism, burning bins and throwing stones at police.

"There is a very small minority of young people involved in the anti-social behaviour but children as young as 14 are getting caught up in this.

"Local residents are angry that this activity has continued over a couple of days despite the best efforts of youth workers and local community leaders.

"Residents want the statutory bodies to step up to the plate and the PSNI has assured me that police patrols will be stepped up.

"Older residents are terrified by this anti-community behaviour and I'm really concerned about the age of some of the children involved.

"Sinn Féin will be meeting with the PSNI and other statutory agencies, parents and community leaders in an effort to get a co-ordinated approach to tackle this upsurge in anti-social behaviour before someone is seriously injured."

(MH/LM)

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