13/09/2005

Over 60 people arrested in three days of trouble

Police today confirmed that 63 people have been arrested following three nights of violence across Belfast and elsewhere.

Sixty of those arrested were for public order offences while three are in connection with serious terrorist offences.

Police said that a major serious crime investigation is continuing and that further arrests will be made. Detectives are also investigating breaches of the parades commission determination in which the Orange Order Whiterock Parade was re-routed from the Springfield Road through the nearby Mackies site.

Commenting on the arrests, Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland said; "Last night we saw continued violence in parts of Belfast and areas outside of the city. Police came under attack from petrol and blast bombs. Although the scale and intensity was less than that of previous nights, it is still inexcusable that police officers continue to come under constant attack as they work to make communities safer.

"Police will continue to deal robustly with any further outbreaks of disturbances. We as a police service are working to serve the whole of the community. We are working to eradicate criminality, no matter where that criminality stems from."

ACC McCausland said he was appealing for calm and common sense to prevail in the coming days.

"No one wants to see their local community suffer from serious damage caused by continued nights of violence. Those with influence in these communities must step forward and exercise that influence to ensure these areas do not suffer further. People causing the disturbances are hurting their own communities," he concluded.

(MB/SP)

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