Seven people have been arrested after the disturbances continued through to 3am on Tuesday morning.
Several hundred people - believed to be mainly loyalists - hurled missiles including 15 petrol bombs, fireworks and bricks at the PSNI. A van was hijacked and pushed towards police lines in Denmark Street.
Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr told UTV "the level of engagement and dialogue and political activity" needs to be speeded up to make sure the parading issue is resolved sooner rather than later.
"What has happened to date hasn't worked."
He said that police resources were being re-allocated from other areas to deal with the rioting.
"We don't want someone to get killed - it's critically important.
"I am very proud of how my colleagues stood in the face of danger, working to bring this situation under control but I am saddened and angry that again we find ourselves subject to serious violence from the communities we serve."
Alban Maginness, SDLP MLA for the area, blamed paramilitaries for the rioting.
He told UTV: "There's nothing spontaneous in this rioting, it's an organised and sustained demonstration by paramilitaries of their street power in the Lower Shankill area, there's no doubt of that in my mind."
Six baton rounds were fired at the crowd and water cannon was used. The worst of the trouble was over by around midnight when the crowds dispersed. Police said the area has now been re-opened to traffic.