Incidents which saw windows smashed at two houses in Banbridge occupied by families from India and Pakistan are being treated by police as racist hate crimes.
Windows were smashed at a house in Cline Road in the town at around 11.50pm. The perpetrator also damaged the windscreen of the householder's car. Three men were at home inside the property at the time.
An hour later a house in Underwood Terrace was also targeted. White paint was thrown over the front of the property and windows were smashed. A mother and her three young children who were at home at the time were uninjured but were left shocked by the ordeal.
Disgusted that 2 homes were attacked in Banbridge overnight, the families are from India & Pakistan. Windows were smashed, a car attacked & paint thrown at one of the houses. A 33 yr old man has been arrrested, Iâve spoken to both families this morning and we will support them.— Jon Burrows (@PSNICIJBurrows) May 18, 2018
A 33-year-old man was arrested by responding officers close to the scene at Underwood Terrace.
He is being questioned on suspicion of racially motivated criminal damage at that location, as well as a previous attack on the same house on March 9 during which paint was also thrown.
Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said: “Hate crime of any description is despicable and completely unacceptable. We all have a responsibility to ensure that we live in a society where all people are respected, and we are working hard to investigate these crimes and support the victims”.
"The local officers investigating both of last night’s attacks are working to establish a definitive link between the incidents and I would ask witnesses or anyone with information to please contact us on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 33 of 18/5/18.”
Alternatively, information can also be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers.
UPDATE: The 33-year-old arrested by police was released on police bail pending further investigation.