Brexit tension boils over as police officer injured in night of violence

Belfast: Sinn Fein warns people to stay away from loyalist protest

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Six PSNI vehicles were also damaged in disturbances on Friday night which involved young people on both sides of the community divide between the nationalist Springfield Road and loyalist Shankill Road. During the violence, missiles were thrown at officers and items were burned on the roads.

The trouble flared 48 hours after disorder broke out in the same area on Wednesday night following a loyalist protest over the Protocol, which Unionist critics claim has imposed a border down the Irish Sea.

PSNI Chief Inspector Darren Fox said police were working with community representatives to continue to monitor the area.

He said: “People need to take greater responsibility for the messages that they post and share over social media sites that only seek to heighten community tensions and bring young people out on to the streets to engage in violence.

“Regrettably, once again, as a result of public disorder in the Lanark and Springfield Road areas, a police officer has been injured and further damage has been caused to police vehicles.

“I would urge the young people who have been involved in this activity previously, and their parents, to seriously consider the impact of their actions on the local community, but also on their own futures.

“These actions have serious consequences.

“I would again reassure the local community that we maintain the capability and resource to deal with any further disturbances and address any community concerns.

“Neighbourhood officers will be out conducting high visibility patrols across the areas to prevent and detect crime.”

On Wednesday, up to 100 youths and young adults attacked police in the same area.

(More to follow)

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