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Belfast PA Archive/Press Association Images
Hate Crimes

'Orchestrated racism' in Belfast condemned

Racist slogans were painted onto walls and cars and homes vandalised.

THE PSNI IS investigating a spate of vandalism and criminal damage that has been called “orchestrated racism”.

A number of incidents happened late on Monday in east Belfast, that saw paint thrown at a car and all of the windows smashed in the area of Rosebery Street.

Racist slogans were painted on a gable wall at the junction of the Elmdale Street and Bately Street area. The PSNI says it is believed that a group of males were seen running off towards the Ravenscroft area following the incident.

The windows of a house in Chobham Street were smashed and paint thrown at the house and it is also believed that racist graffiti was painted on a gable wall in the area.

Police also received a report of a window at a house in Bloomfield Avenue and damage was caused to a silver Fiat Punto car parked in Ravenscroft Street

It’s understood the incidents all took place some time before 10.50pm on Monday.

Enquiries are continuing and at this stage police believe there is a link between the incidents and are treating each of them as a hate crime.

Reaction

SDLP Leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell condemned the incidents as “despicable and cowardly”.

“Those behind these cowardly and despicable attacks should be ashamed of themselves, and I urge community leaders to do all they can to bring an end to these disgusting, racist attacks,” said the South Belfast MP.

“These attacks must not be tolerated. People have the right to live in peace, but no one has the right to instil fear and tension in any community.”

The Church of Ireland Bishop of Down & Dromore Harold Miller said the attacks were “disgraceful and unacceptable”.

“Most of us, from this island, have known what it is to be welcomed in other countries, and many people from Northern Ireland have made their homes in other parts of the world. Offering hospitality and a warm welcome is not only part of our self-understanding but a deeply important Christian value.

“I encourage all of us to find ways of getting to know people from different cultures living amongst us and to value their contribution to our common life.”

Read: Condemnation after KKK flag erected by protesters in Belfast

Read: Teenager stabbed in back, two others hurt in separate Belfast stabbings

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