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Stormont leaders unite to condemn hate crimes after cars torched

Published 22/11/2015

One of the cars which was set on fire at Dunclug Gardens in Ballymena in an overnight arson attack which the police are treating as a hate crime. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.
One of the cars which was set on fire at Dunclug Gardens in Ballymena in an overnight arson attack which the police are treating as a hate crime. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.
One of the cars which was set on fire at Dunclug Gardens in Ballymena in an overnight arson attack which the police are treating as a hate crime. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.
One of the cars which was set on fire at Dunclug Gardens in Ballymena in an overnight arson attack which the police are treating as a hate crime. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.
Police have appealed for information

The First and Deputy First Ministers have called on communities to unite against racism after cars were burnt out in the latest suspected hate crimes.

The vehicles, believed to be owned by two men from Eastern Europe, were targeted in arson incidents in Ballymena overnight.

Police said one car was alight in Dunclug Gardens at around 3.30am and the second in Dunclug Park shortly before 5am.

In a joint statement Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness condemned the incidents and urged people to consider how families with relatives overseas would feel if they were victims of racism.

"The attack on a house last week and arson attacks on two cars in Ballymena over the weekend are simply not acceptable," the Stormont leaders said.

"Thankfully no one was injured in these attacks but the entire community must unite and reject this behaviour which exudes intolerance, ignorance and zero respect for humanity.

"We urge anyone with any information relating to these attacks to bring it to the PSNI.

"Many families have sons, daughters or close family members dotted around the globe and they must consider how they would feel if they were being attacked or singled out because of their race, colour or nationality.

"We must make every effort to create the conditions where we are welcoming and everyone feels part of the community."

Detectives said they were treating the latest attacks in Ballymena as hate crimes and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

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