23/10/2017

Number Of Cars Set On Fire In East Belfast

A number of vehicles have been set alight in east Belfast.

Just after 4.15am on Sunday, 22 October, police received reports that a car on Florida Street had been set alight.

They are investigating a link between the attacks which they are treating as racially-motivated hate crimes.

The vehicle was extensively damaged and several nearby were also burned.

Around the same time, a small fire was also started on the bonnet of a car on Wayland Street. The blaze was put out, however the bonnet and windscreen were left scorched.

A parked car in Carlingford Street was also extensively damaged after being set on fire.
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UUP Councillor Sonia Copeland said: "It is vile that anyone would be targeted in an attempt to make them feel unwelcome in an area. Hate crime cannot be tolerated in any shape or form. I would appeal to anyone who has information that could help the PSNI to catch those responsible to come forward.    

"Those who are acting in this vile way need to consider the effect it has, not just on the victims who are now left without vehicles, but also on the entire area. Just last week I had a series of meetings to discuss potential investment in these areas, those responsible for these attacks need to think about what they are doing to East Belfast's reputation."

Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw said: "It is extremely disappointing to be faced with yet another potential hate crime in the area and my thoughts are with the victims who have been left without vehicles.

"Any attack on local people is one too many and I know I speak for the majority who don't want this type of behaviour to symbolise life in South Belfast. No-one should feel unsafe or unwelcome in their own home and I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible."

(CD/JP)

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