Police say a driver was dragged from his vehicle in Galliagh Park at around 10.30 pm last night, hit on the head and had his car set on fire.
Young people gathered in Galliagh on Monday evening after a controversial anti-internment bonfire was taken down by contractors at Linear Park.
Earlier in the evening, at around 5.50pm, a bus on Upper Galliagh Road had a window damaged after a brick was thrown at it.
At around 7.15pm, it was reported petrol bombs were thrown towards a bus parked on the grounds of a community centre in Bracken Park.
At around the same time, it was reported there was an attempt by a group of young people to set a van on fire that was parked at a local playschool.
At around 8.10pm, it was reported a delivery driver’s van was attacked by two masked men in Knockalla Park earlier, at around 4.30pm, and damaged.
Throughout yesterday evening, bins, tyres and pallets were dragged onto roads in Galliagh and set on fire.
Police said they were dealt with disorder and crowds dispersed around 2 am on Tuesday, August 8.
Police Derry City and Strabane District Commander, Superintendent William Calderwood, said: “We would like to thank members of the public for their patience and cooperation during the disruption.
“What we saw unfold in Galliagh from late yesterday through to the early hours of this morning was both disappointing and worrying.
“We saw damage to community property, including attempts to burn a community bus and damage to a local business delivery van.
“Most seriously, a local man had his vehicle hijacked and set on fire, while he was also assaulted and left badly shaken-up.
“This type of criminal activity is totally unacceptable and should be condemned by all.
“Attacking and damaging vehicles and properties only serves to damage the community.
“It is wrong.
“We know these events are not reflective of the community and the people who live there. Nor are they reflective of the majority of young people in Galliagh.
“We will continue to work with community representatives, and monitor the situation over the coming days. We appeal for calm and urge those with influence to use that to ensure there is no repeat of any disorder.”
It came after police said on Monday that they were aware of a social media message circulating in the city calling on people to assemble in the area in the wake of the Department for Infrastructure removing material from the bonfire site.
Police and other contractors were pictured at the site where material had been gathered for a number of weeks on a large green space close to the homes of residents in the area.
The land at Galliagh’s Linear Park is owned by the Department for Communities which confirmed the material had been removed for “public safety reasons”.
Material including pallets and other wood had been building up ahead of the bonfire on August 15.
The PSNI confirmed it attended the scene alongside contractors from the department in order to “prevent a breach of the peace” and “ensure the safety of everyone”.It is understood a forklift, tractor and lorry was used by the department to assist workers with removing the material.
Traditionally, a bonfire is lit on August 15 in Derry to mark a Catholic feast day celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.
In recent times however the fire has become a source of contention and associated with anti-social behaviour in the city.
In a statement, the Department for Communities said: “We can confirm that bonfire material at the Galliagh Linear Park site has been removed for public safety reasons.
“This action is in line with the expressed wishes of the local community – in particular the residents directly affected by the bonfire, and the associated anti-social behaviour – and the advice of partner statutory agencies.
“The Department has taken the decision with care, informed by extensive engagement with community groups, residents and partner organisations.”Tags: