Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

MLA targeted in hate crime incident

Anna Lo's home has been targeted in a suspected hate crime

The home of Assembly member Anna Lo has been targeted in a suspected hate crime, she has told fellow MLAs.

The Alliance South Belfast representative, who is originally from Hong Kong, praised the police response to the incident.

She revealed details during an Assembly exchange on efforts to tackle hate crime in Northern Ireland. In 2007 the MLA became the first politician from an ethnic background elected to the Assembly.

She said: "I believe I was the victim of a recent hate crime whereby my house was damaged. Slightly, but damaged. I must say when I called the police they responded really, really quickly. Within minutes the police arrived at my door."

It is understood the gates of the MLA's house were damaged. Her home has been attacked before, while earlier this year she was the victim of an attempted carjacking in her South Belfast constituency.

In a separate incident, Alliance's headquarters in south Belfast was targeted by republican activists last week in a protest about conditions inside Maghaberry Prison, Co Antrim - a facility overseen by the party's Justice Minister David Ford.

Ms Lo highlighted her experience as Mr Ford's fielded Assembly questions.

He said: "I certainly would sympathise with my colleague for the fact that her house was attacked. I do remember she also suffered a personal attack some time ago so we should certainly recognise the seriousness of hate crime and indeed a variety of crime and its effects on members of society."

Mr Ford earlier told the Assembly that he is reviewing the implementation of legislation to tackle hate crime to assess its effectiveness.

The issue had been raised by the SDLP's Dominic Bradley.

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