A CHILD of five has been cautioned by police for being involved in serious rioting in the Shankill area of north Belfast. Police say the kids are organising their “recreational riots” using mobile phone text messages, without outside (school) involvement.
The riots, too late to make the latest IMC report, ostensibly were the “community response” to “heavy-handed policing” during house searches. The searches – carried out in the wake of a UVF “show of strength” – turned up a gun and there were arrests, and more after the riot. The PSNI think they’re in an impossible position – too heavy-handed for some, too much of a soft touch for others, and all the while trying to ensure the human rights of a child throwning a petrol bomb at them are upheld. Meanwhile, looking at the problem of sectarian attacks in north Antrim, also believed to have been carried out by children, Angelique Chrisafis wonders if “a generation is growing up more segregated and sectarian than its parents“.