Police anti-racist operation in Northern Ireland results in just three arrests
A major police operation set up to tackle race crime in Northern Ireland has resulted in just three arrests so far.
Operation Reiner was launched after hate attacks against foreign nationals soared.
But so far only three arrests have been made, with two people charged.
Yesterday a Jamaican woman became the latest victim of the race hate campaign sweeping Northern Ireland.
Thugs hurled a brick through the front window of Kerry Ann Brown's home in the Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey – the second attack on her home in less than a year.
Ms Brown, a single mother to three young children, said she now planned to leave her home.
Earlier this month it emerged racist incidents had increased by a third in the past year.
The PSNI's annual crime statistics, released last week, revealed there were 982 racist incidents in the 2013/14 year – up 30.9%.
Alliance MLA Anna Lo said police needed to send out a strong message that race crime will not be tolerated.
"It is very important that the police are seen to be arresting and prosecuting people to show that they will not get away with racist crime," she said.
However, she added: "While it is important for the police to be more rigorous in dealing with these crimes, that is only the aftermath. What we need is more understanding and respect for newcomers."
There have been at least six high-profile race hate attacks in Belfast in the past three weeks.
In the most serious cases, a man was showered with excrement on the loyalist Newtownards Road, while three young Poles were savagely beaten by a 15-strong gang of thugs brandishing golf clubs.
No one from Operation Reiner was available for interview yesterday. However, police said patrols had been increased in certain areas and "arrests are expected to be made in the coming weeks".
TIMELINE OF ATTACKS
April 21: Three young Polish nationals were savagely attacked by a 15-strong gang after being asked for a cigarette.
April 25: A 23-year-old man was stabbed in the leg in a racially motivated hate crime in south Belfast.
April 30: A Romanian man had faeces thrown at him during a "sickening" racist attack on Newtownards Road.
May 5: A Polish man had his home and car smashed in a vicious racist attack at Templemore Avenue in east Belfast.