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Belfast Filipino family's race hate fear after seven attacks

Published 16/11/2016

Cleo Enriquez, a scientist who works for the Belfast Health Trust.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 16/11/2016
Cleo Enriquez, a scientist who works for the Belfast Health Trust. PACEMAKER BELFAST 16/11/2016
Police are investigating the latest incident as hate-motived criminal damage, after the glass of the family’s front door at Brae Hill Link was shattered by stones thrown on Tuesday night. PACEMAKER BELFAST 16/11/2016
Cleo Enriquez, a scientist who works for the Belfast Health Trust. PACEMAKER BELFAST 16/11/2016

Police are investigating a hate crime on a Filipino family in north Belfast - who say they have been targeted seven times in the past four weeks.

The incident happened just after 8pm on Tuesday night at Brae Hill Link.

Stones were thrown at their home shattering the glass of the family's front door.

A PSNI spokesman said: "We are actively investigating and treating it as hate motivated incident. We believe this incident and a further incident reported in January 2016 that police have been made aware of, will be condemned by everyone in the local community.

"We are therefore hopeful that information will be provided that will directly lead to those responsible being held to account.

"The Police Service has identified hate motivated crime as one of its key priorities and would ask the public to report any incidents however apparently minor so we can address them at the earliest opportunity.

"We have specialist officers who can support victims of hate crime and we will be doing so in this case.”

Speaking to the BBC, Memet and Cleo say their two children have been left frightened following the attacks.

Cleo Enriquez, (39), a biomedical scientist originally from the Philippines, said her family have been left feeling scared and stressed.

She said: "The truth is I don't really know why we are being targeted. We just leave the house in the morning and return at night time.

"We just work, our house is quiet. The only thing we can think of is that we are different.

"You don't like to think it is racially motivated but that is the only thing we can think of."

Mrs Enriquez, her husband Memet, a nurse, and their two children aged eight and 15 have lived in the property for more than a decade.

After an attack last year, they installed CCTV.

DUP Deputy Leader and north Belfast MP Nigel Dodds condemned the attacks.

He said: "This is a deplorable act upon a family who have made Belfast their home for the upwards of 14 years. Nobody should be subjected to this level of intimidation in their home and I utterly condemn those responsible.

"This family contribute much to society here in Northern Ireland, living and working here. I believe this is the seventh attack on the family, who have two children and it is very disappointing that individuals think it is acceptable to act in this way. They do not represent the Ballysillan community.

"The majority of people do not want to see this type of activity in Northern Ireland and I would urge anyone with any information to contact the police."

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