From before 9pm last night disorder broke out in the Bogside area.
Two improvised explosive devices were thrown at police officers in the prolonged and sustained attack.
A total of 74 petrol bombs were thrown.
The petrol bombs were thrown towards police Land Rovers and at officers on the ground.
The makeshift barricades were built and set on fire on the Lecky Road flyover and on Fahan Street.
The PSNI said young children were among those involved in the trouble. Police closed sections of the walls overlooking the Bogside.
Supt Gordon McCalmont said: “I am saddened, disheartened and frustrated that yet again police officers committed to keeping this local community safe have been attacked by a small number of people within it.
“It is nothing short of a miracle that officers were not injured.
“During this reckless disorder four AEP rounds were fired by my colleagues and we have arrested three males, aged 18 and 22 years old and aged approximately 50 years old.
“The 22 year old had been arrested for attempted murder.
“While we have seen many young people involved in these attacks over the last number of nights, it is clear that this is being orchestrated by a more sinister, adult, violent dissident republican element.
“This cannot continue. This must end now.
“I am asking every community leader and every single person with influence in Derry to help us stop these attacks on police and the wider community of the city.”
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the violence was only succeeding in “terrifying people in their own homes”.
“These people who are supposedly republicans, who are supposedly trying to get a United Ireland are destroying their area,” he said.
“Now, I don’t know how many times we have to learn this lesson that this does not work.
“It’s not only morally reprehensible, it’s strategically stupid.”