Londonderry: Attack on youth club treated as sectarian hate crime

Waterside youth club
Image caption The masked group of youths fled following the arrival of police at the youth club on the Dungiven Road

The police have said they are treating an attack on a youth club in Londonderry as sectarian.

Officers were called out following reports that a group of youths had gathered outside the building on the Dungiven Road on Tuesday night.

They prevented children inside the building from leaving, shouted abuse and threw items at a car, police said.

PSNI Insp Rosemary Thompson said it was a scary experience for those attending the youth club.

"This was a frightening incident for the young people who were inside the club and also for the adults who came to collect their children.

"We are treating this as a sectarian hate incident and our enquiries are ongoing."

Image caption Police are treating the incident at the youth club as a sectarian hate crime

According to a number of parents who contacted Sinn Féin councillor Christopher Jackson, the gang wore scarves to cover their faces.

"It's hard to imagine the fear these children must have being going through. The gang involved in this attack had their faces covered by scarves," said Mr Jackson.

Image caption The group threw items and shouted abuse as well as preventing children from leaving the club

"At a time when communities in the Waterside are striving to cement peace and encourage reconciliation it would appear that there is a very small minority intent on living in the past.

"There is no place in our society for this carry-on and those involved in these attacks should hang their heads in shame," he added.