In another incident a masked gang of up to 20 people, some armed with metal bars, tried unsuccessfully to hijack a man’s car.
There were further hijackings and attempted hijackings in the city last night, after similar incidents in recent days.
Youths threw petrol bombs, paint bombs and other missiles at police in two separate locations as officers responded to a hoax security alert on Skeoge Road and later to the hijacking of the recovery lorry near Galliagh roundabout. Police said around 150 young people had gathered close to the roundabout and officers were attacked.
Two to three men stopped the recovery vehicle and one of them poured fuel inside the lorry “covering the driver”.
“Both males managed to escape from the vehicle in what was a terrifying ordeal for them and get to safety before the truck was set alight.
“NIFRS and police attended the scene where a crowd of around 150 people had gathered. Some of those who had gathered threw missiles, including stones and bottles, at officers. A petrol bomb was also thrown but failed to ignite.
“As this was taking place, police received a report of an attempted hijacking in Galliagh Park where a woman was stopped by a young masked male who tried to take her vehicle – a black Kia – using a wheelbrace. The woman managed to flee to safety. Damage was caused to the car door, and the woman was understandably left shaken.”
Police said the third incident took place at around 12:40am today when a van was hijacked and set alight in Fergleen Park.
Another attempted hijacking was reported just after 2am when up to 20 masked people, some armed with metal bars, tried unsuccessfully to hijack a man’s car on Fairview Road
A number of vehicles were also hijacked in the city on Tuesday August 4.
Derry and Strabane District Commander Chief Superintendent Emma Bond said the violence was “not representative of this city” and was taking place against the backdrop of the death and funeral of former SDLP and civil rights leader John Hume.
She said police had gathered evidence with a view to making arrests and asked community and elected representatives to continue using their influence.
“This has been the third night of disorder in our city at the hands of cowards determined to cause disruption in our communities. It is unacceptable and I am very disappointed people made a deliberate decision to go out onto the streets and cause trouble,” CS Bond said.
“Yesterday, the world’s media was focused on the city as John Hume was laid to rest. The scenes in our communities last night are not representative of this city.
“I want to stress the disorder we have seen on our streets over the past few nights has been caused by a minority of people who have absolutely no regard for our communities being impacted, and the people who live here.”
CS Bond had a message for onlookers.
“I would also urge anyone, including those who gathered to watch this disorder last night to understand this is not entertainment. This is dangerous, reckless activity, which has a significant impact on not only the people whose vehicles were targeted, but also on the local communities.”
She thanked community and elected representatives who had been on the ground last night and asked them to continue to use their influence “to help us maintain control of the situation so we don’t have another night of disorder and our communities don’t come under attack again”.
“We have gathered evidence in relation to these incidents and are working to identify those responsible and those involved and we can assure the public we will be working towards making arrests,” she added.
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Maeve Connolly for the original story
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