Published Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Chief Constable Matt Baggott said violence was orchestrated by social media. (© PA)
Matt Baggott spoke after a petrol bomb was thrown at a female police officer in east Belfast on Monday.
She was in an unmarked patrol car guarding the office of local Alliance MP Naomi Long, who received a death threat last week.
"I think what we are seeing here is the work of the social media bringing people out," said the Chief Constable.
Mr Baggott described the attack as attempted murder and said he was very angry about the actions that put his officer's life at risk.
"These police officers are there simply doing their job protecting communities. There will be a full investigation and I will be hopeful that we will bring people before the courts as soon as possible," he said.
This is a phenomena of mob violence which has been stoked up by individuals and the social media.
Forty roads were blocked in the region on Monday in an eighth night of disruption, and it is understood that further protests are expected on Tuesday.
The disorder was sparked by a Belfast City Council vote to restrict the number of days when the Union flag is flown from Belfast City Hall.
Although some protests in towns and cities across NI have been peaceful, others have seen police pelted with bricks and stones and a total of 27 officers have so far been injured.
Last week Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said paramilitaries were behind the violence on Friday night, during which eight police officers were injured.
But former UDA leader Jackie McDonald told UTV that was not the case.
"There's absolutely no paramilitary involvement in the violence here [on Friday night]," he said.
Almost 40 people - including boys as young as 13 - have been arrested by police investigating the disorder.
Secretary of State Theresa Villiers is expected to make a statement in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
"It is absolutely disgraceful, the attack on the police officer last night was totally unacceptable," she said.
She added that Prime Minister David Cameron was following the "grave situation".
© UTV News