Petrol bombs thrown in Derry disorder as police say children as young as six involved

By Rebecca Black, PA

Disorder in Derry that saw police come under attack has been condemned as “utterly senseless”.

Petrol bombs, heavy masonry and fireworks were thrown by a crowd including children in the Creggan area on Tuesday night.

The PSNI said the disorder started after the discovery of a suspicious device at around 7.45pm in Southway.

In a statement, the PSNI said officers had been in the area dealing with a sudden death in Magowan Park, and made the discovery while they were conducting inquiries in the area.

They said a public safety operation was implemented with cordons put in place, but disorder broke out as paint, petrol bombs, heavy masonry and fireworks were thrown at police, and that some of those involved were children.


Police vehicles were damaged but there were no reports of injuries to officers.

The suspicious device was found to be an elaborate hoax.

A 36-year-old man arrested on suspicion of riotous behaviour.

Derry City and Strabane Area Commander Chief Superintendent Gillian Kearney said: “The disorder that developed was utterly senseless.

“That disorder occurred as officers were dealing with such a sensitive incident is shameful.

“It also serves to damage local communities and divert our resources away from dealing with the things that matter most.

“There are reports of children as young as six and seven years old being involved. This is child criminal exploitation.

“We know from the work our officers do on a daily basis, what happened last night will have provoked anger in the local community and wider area.

“I want to reassure the community my officers will be out today working to remove drugs from the streets, responding to domestic abuse calls and protecting communities from those who seek to cause harm to the most vulnerable.

“I want to commend the officers involved last night.”

An investigation is under way and anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting reference 1510 of 09/07/24.