Belfast Telegraph

Police probe race hate crime after car set on fire in south Belfast

Police are treating a car set on fire in south Belfast as a racially motivated hate crime.

At around 2am this morning police received a report of a car on fire in the Ebor Street area.

Police attended along with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and the fire was extinguished.

The car was extensively damaged as a result of the incident.

The incident is being investigated as a racially motivated hate crime.

SDLP South Belfast MLA Claire Hanna condemned the attack and called on local representatives to be proactive in countering racism.

Ms Hanna said: "This stupid and destructive attack does not reflect the attitude of the people of south Belfast, who recognise that diversity makes us stronger and is something to be welcomed.

"Research repeatedly shows that immigration is good for our economy and the majority of people in south Belfast celebrate and embrace the area's diversity.

"Following this attack we will hear widespread condemnation from various representatives and they are right to do so, but what is more important than condemnation of crime is their vocal and visible support for diversity in our community.

"It's 2016 and the movement of people is a global reality. Everyone in Belfast needs to accept that so that we can begin to relegate incidents like this to the past."

Inspector Jamie Hughes is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact officers in Lisburn Road on the non-emergency number 101.

Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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