News story

Paterson condemns overnight violence

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, said that those who use young people to attack the police and smash up their own area are 'cynical enemies of the whole community'.

Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, has said that those who use young people to attack the police and smash up their own area are ‘cynical enemies of the whole community’.

Mr Paterson was speaking in the aftermath of the serious rioting last night.

Mr Paterson said:

Along with Minister of State, Hugo Swire and Justice Minister David Ford, I watched events unfold late into the night before being briefed by the Chief Constable.

The contrast between the restraint and professionalism of the police who were there to maintain law and order and the mob which attacked them could not have been greater.

The Chief Constable and the Justice Minister should be justly proud of the incredibly brave men and women of the PSNI who held the line last night in the face of a sustained and violent assault.

It is vital that local people come forward with information to help their police service with its investigation.

The vast majority of gatherings pass off peacefully but there remain issues to be resolved around parading.

Northern Ireland has come so far because locally elected, locally accountable representatives have found the political will to resolve difficulties that not so long ago seemed insoluble.

I have no doubt that will be the case with parades.

But there will be those who will try to exploit and create community tensions.

They will not be allowed to put the future at risk.