Councillors have defended plans to put up security fencing to curb anti-social behaviour at playing fields in Londonderry.

Derry City Council is proposing to erect security fencing measuring 170m after reports of fights between youths from nationalist and unionist estates, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The Community Relations Council (CRC) has criticised the decision.

Deputy mayor and Democratic Unionist Party councillor Drew Thompson defended the decision, telling the newspaper: "There has been a lot of trouble here over a long period of time. Police have logged a whole catalogue of incidents over a six month period.

"To me, it will not only safeguard the residents but also the playing fields."

According to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, gangs of up to 40 people have been gathering in the city, apparently to stage pre-arranged battles.

Security fencing will be installed at Gelving Grange Road and Irish Street, and metal gates will be put up to restrict access to Clondermot Park.ADNFCR-3337-ID-800457943-ADNFCR