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Police investigating hate incident after graffiti painted outside Belfast home ahead of viewings

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The graffiti at Queen Victoria Gardens.

The graffiti at Queen Victoria Gardens.

The graffiti at Queen Victoria Gardens.

Police are investigating a hate incident after racist and sectarian graffiti was painted in an area of north Belfast ahead of scheduled house viewings.

The graffiti was painted on a number of walls in the Queen Victoria Gardens area and came to public attention on Thursday morning.

It is understood the graffiti has now been removed.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Conor Maskey said a home in the area was due to be viewed by a number of families on Thursday.

He said he believed the graffiti was a "repulsive and sinister attempt to intimidate families from moving into this area".

“There is no place in our community for these cowards and their thuggish actions," Mr Maskey said.

“There is immense housing stress in north Belfast and there can be no ‘no-go’ areas for families.

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“Moving into a home should a time of great relief and joy for many families, not a time of fear.

"Over the course of recent months, numerous homes have been attacked and daubed with sectarian and racist graffiti.

“Sinn Fein has been in contact with the PSNI to raise our very serious concerns around this ongoing campaign of intimidation against families in north Belfast.

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 Conor Maskey

Conor Maskey

Conor Maskey

The Sinn Fein councillor appealed for anyone with information to contact the PSNI.

SDLP councillor Carl Whyte said the incident was "outrageous and highly distressing for residents".

"The community in north Belfast are shocked at this appalling display of racism and hatred. I have just visited the local area to show my support for the residents involved," he said.

"I have contacted the council to have this display of hatred removed and I call on anyone with information on those responsible to bring it forward to the police.

“There is no place for any form of racism or discrimination in our society. We are trying to build a better and more shared north Belfast and displays of hatred like this one must be condemned unreservedly.”

Police confirmed they are aware of the incident.

"Enquiries are continuing and at this time we are treating this as a hate incident," a PSNI spokesperson said.

"Anyone with any information on who is responsible is encouraged to contact police on 101 or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/."


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