PFNI says officers ‘sick of being punchbag for failures of society’
The Chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Mark Lindsay, says officers are sick of being a ‘punchbag’ for the failures of society to resolve its issues.
Mr Lindsay roundly condemned rioters who attacked officers as they assisted contractors who removed wood from a bonfire in the Distillery Street area of west Belfast. Twenty-six officers were injured in clashes.
Mr Lindsay said: “Once again, police officers have been drawn into the middle of a row over what should or shouldn’t take place. They are sick of being a punchbag for a society that has failed to tackle contentious issues.
“The attacks were pre-meditated. Petrol bombs and chunks of masonry don’t materialise out of thin air. These confrontations were planned. Those behind this reckless and irresponsible action had a very clear aim of making officers bear the brunt of their hate.
“What happened posed real risks to the lives of officers. Petrol bombing is a clear attempt to murder or maim officers who were there to uphold the law.
“My thoughts are with the injured officers and their colleagues who once again demonstrated great professionalism and courage in confronting mindless rioters who achieve nothing but misery and distress for residents in affected areas.”