06/05/2014

Polish Residents Attacked In Latest Hate Crime

Two Polish residents of east Belfast have become the latest victims of a spate of racist hate crimes in the city, after the living room window of their house on Templemore Avenue was smashed at 23:30 on Monday night.

A man in his 20s and a woman in her 40s were in the house at the time.

The incident follows similar attacks on homes on Roslyn Street, which were vandalised with graffiti saying 'locals only'.

The PSNI has blamed the recent upsurge in racist hate crimes on the Ulster Volunteer Force.

South Belfast Alliance MLA Anna Lo said: "I absolutely condemn these attacks. Everyone has a right to live in peace in their own homes and I am disgusted at those behind these incidents.

"The local community at large do not support this kind of behaviour and I would appeal to anyone with information to get in touch with the PSNI as soon as possible.

"This is a worrying trend and as Chair of the Assembly All Party Group on Ethnic Minorities I have invited the PSNI to come to our next meeting to outline the work of their special task force recently set-up to tackle race hate crime."

Sinn Féin East Belfast Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile said: "This weekend we have seen more attacks on Polish families in East Belfast. This has to be condemned by all right-thinking people in our community.

"My immediate thoughts are with those families immediately affected. They have arrived to our city no doubt with the hope of a better life and have found themselves attacked by mindless racists motivated only by hate.

"I would call on anyone who has any information about these attacks to pass the information on immediately to the police."

(IT/MH)

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