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Blair says violence has achieved nothing except spreading fear and destruction

Alliance MLA John Blair has said the violence of this week has achieved nothing except spreading fear and destruction in communities.

Petrol bombs were thrown at police and vehicles hijacked and set alight during rioting in Newtownabbey last night (Saturday), which followed previous nights of violence in South Belfast and Derry-Londonderry. Police have said last night’s trouble was “an orchestrated attack” by mostly young people and older men.

“I utterly condemn the violence over the previous number of nights across Northern Ireland and reiterate our full support for the PSNI,” said Mr Blair, Alliance’s representative on the Policing Board.

“It has achieved nothing except spreading further fear across the communities affected, while causing destruction and injuries. I again appeal to all those with any influence in these areas to work with police to bring it to an end and ask parents and guardians to be aware of their children’s whereabouts at all times.

“The evidence is now clear – those who have spent time undermining police and whipping up fear and tension have to shoulder their part of the blame for what we have seen. Anyone in a position of political leadership must think their words and actions through carefully or else we may see more the scenes we have witnessed recently.”