Northern Ireland

Policeman hit by brick during trouble in east Belfast

Grand Parade, Belfast
Image caption The officer was injured when a brick smashed through the window of his police vehicle on Grand Parade, east Belfast, on Saturday night

A policeman has been hit in the face with a brick as his patrol responded to disturbances involving groups of youths in east Belfast.

The brick smashed through the window of his police vehicle shortly after 22:25 BST on Saturday.

Officers had been called to the area because groups of youths were throwing stones at each other, with some stones hitting passing cars.

The policeman was treated for a non-life-threatening facial injury.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman said there was no sectarian element to the disturbances.

'Potential danger'

In a statement, Det Ch Insp Colin Gillis said: "In responding to this call about anti-social behaviour, one of my officers has been injured, requiring hospital treatment.

"I would say to young people in the area that they should be very aware of the potential danger that they are putting other people in.

"They might think that it is just fooling around, but they should know that we are taking the incident seriously and a criminal record is a distinct possibility for anyone involved."

Mr Gillis also appealed to parents to warn their children about the consequences of getting caught up in criminal behaviour.

"Police will enforce the law when criminal or anti-social behaviour is detected and a criminal record seriously effects life choices, including employment choices, travel options and future education," he said.