24/05/2019

Police Targeted With Petrol Bombs

Petrol bombs have been thrown at police officers who were responding to a security alert in L'Derry.

Three people were arrested- two teenagers aged 17 and a 12 year old boy- following the night of disorder in the Moss Park area on Thursday night, 23 May.

Police were called to the vicinity of St Paul's Primary School, which was being used as a polling station, following reports of a suspicious device in the area at around 7pm.

Responding officers then had five petrol bombs thrown at them, one of which was in the Glengalliagh Park area and landed close to a number of children. Six devices were recovered from the scene, along with 20 paint bombs and two crates of empty bottles.

Police subsequently arrested the three youths, who are all in custody assisting with enquiries.

Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: "There is no doubt my officers were lured into the area this evening and that those involved in this orchestrated disorder had one aim in mind- to attack police.

"This was all the more reckless by the fact that one of the petrol bombs hurled at police landed in close proximity to young children who could have been left seriously injured, or worse.
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"This security alert is the second this month in this area, impacting the same community that was disrupted on May 2 during local Council elections.

"It cannot be lost on anyone the disruption this has caused in the local community, let alone the potential for serious harm that could have been caused."

The alert surrounding the suspicious device was ended later last night and declared an elaborate hoax. The object was taken for further forensic examination.

Superintendent McCalmont thanked the local community for their patience and understanding during the operation, adding: "The blame for the inconvenience, however, lies squarely with those individuals who left this close to a local school, which was being used as a polling station this evening. Those responsible have absolutely nothing to offer local people or society in general.

"I want to thank the public for their patience however when it comes to keeping people safe we take no chances. I would urge anyone who has information about the disorder this evening to contact police at Strand Road on 101 quoting reference number 1639 of 23/05/19."

Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



(JG/CM)

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