Belfast Telegraph

Antrim arson attack treated as race hate crime

Police are treating an arson attack in Antrim as a race hate crime.

A car belonging to an Indian family was set on fire at Meadow Drive in the town at about 6.30am.

The vehicle was destroyed and scorch damage was caused to their home.

Chief Inspector John Allen from the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: " We believe that the attack was motivated by racial hatred.

"Any attack on property is unacceptable, however I totally condemn the racial hate crime element of this attack, which makes it particularly repugnant."

It is understood two young children were inside the house at the time.

There has been cross-community condemnation of the incident.

Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister slammed those responsible for such "horrendous criminal behaviour".

The North Antrim MLA said: " There is never any justification for this type of reckless criminality - this fire could have spread to the family house as well as neighbouring properties and endangered the lives of many including young children.

"The family themselves are already grieving for the passing of a grandfather, with the father out of the country for the funeral. This act makes a horrible event even worse."

Sinn Fein's national chairperson Declan Kearney described the incident as "disgraceful".

He said: "There can be no place for racism or racist hate crimes in our society.

"Those who carried out this attack have nothing to offer the community."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

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