East Belfast Alliance MP Naomi Long and MLAs Judith Cochrane and Chris Lyttle have condemned rioting in the Castlereagh Street and Albertbridge Road areas which happened overnight. Six police officers were injured, vehicles were damaged and missles were thrown in the disturbances.
Naomi Long MP said: “This is the third night of serious violence in East Belfast in recent weeks. People in the area want to get on with their lives free from fear and disruption and I would appeal to those involved in the trouble to act responsibly and stop hurting the community.
“It is appalling that six police officers were injured during these disturbances. My thoughts are with them at this time and I hope that they make a swift recovery.”
Chris Lyttle MLA said: “We know there are underlying issues that we need to address in this area but this violence and intimidation is wrong and must stop.
“I have seen first hand the trauma and fear this disorder is causing for local people and I appeal for those involved to stop inflicting damage on their community.
“Whilst this disorder is not just sectarian it is clear that if the First & deputy First Minister are serious about building a shared and better future for all, we need urgent delivery of an improved Community Relations strategy for Northern Ireland to tackle the crippling human and financial cost of division.”
Judith Cochrane MLA said: “This disorder and destruction is a disgrace and there can be no repeat of this or any of the other scenes witnessed in recent weeks in East Belfast. People want to move foward, with peace and stability, and we want to see economic growth in East Belfast. Disorder like this sets the area back when we should be looking to the future.
“I would appeal for calm and I would appeal for anyone with information on recent disorder to contact police immediately and help them with their investigations.”