Man held over flag demonstrations
Published 26/01/2013 | 21:45
Police in Northern Ireland have arrested a 42-year-old man after a protest linked to the Union flag controversy.
He was detained in east Belfast over obstruction, assault on police and resisting arrest.
Police said the man was charged with a number of offences and was due to appear in court on Monday.
The Police Ombudsman has been asked to investigate the matter.
In a statement the PSNI said: "The police response to this arrest was appropriate and proportionate to the circumstances."
It is understood police were attacked with missiles from a hostile crowd as they made the arrest in east Belfast, with two officers being struck by masonry.
Earlier several hundred loyalists gathered in Belfast city centre to protest against restrictions imposed on flying the Union flag over City Hall. A number of the protesters later blocked several roads in east Belfast.
Progressive Unionist Party leader Billy Hutchinson has called for an urgent meeting with PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott to discuss police tactics in the area.
Loyalists have been staging pickets across Northern Ireland since December. Trouble has erupted in some parts, most recently at Cloughfern on the outskirts of north Belfast on Friday night where loyalists threw petrol bombs at police.
This week the Stormont Executive and Belfast City Council launched a major new campaign to help hard hit traders who say they have been affected by the demonstrations.
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