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Racist 'Local only' graffiti painted and windows smashed at new housing development in east Belfast

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Vandalism of houses in east Belfast is being treated as a racially-motivated hate crime, police have said. Photograph by Declan Roughan

Vandalism of houses in east Belfast is being treated as a racially-motivated hate crime, police have said. Photograph by Declan Roughan

©INPHO/Declan Roughan

Vandalism of houses in east Belfast is being treated as a racially-motivated hate crime, police have said. Photograph by Declan Roughan

A new housing development in east Belfast has been targeted with vandalism and racist graffiti.

The graffiti was painted on a house at the new development on the Beersbridge Road.

Police are treating the incident as a hate crime and appealed for witnesses and information after criminal damage was caused to a number of houses in the Woodlee Court area on Friday night.

A total of 15 windows were broken in the houses.

Alliance East Belfast Councillor David Armitage hit out at those behind the graffiti, saying it is time for it to stop.

Councillor Armitage said this was the latest in a string of similar incidents in the area.

“There is no justification whatsoever for this vandalism or similar incidents we have seen nearby in previous months. We can have no tolerance in our society for such blatant racist views,” he said.

“Enough is enough – I appeal directly to those behind this graffiti and others to stop what they’re doing. I ask to all who have influence to use it to make sure this is the last occurrence we see. East Belfast is a welcoming community where such intimidation is out of step with the majority of people here and where the population deplore this type of behaviour.

“I have informed the police about this graffiti and asked Belfast City Council to remove it as soon as possible. If anyone has any information on this incident, I ask them to pass it to the PSNI immediately.”

Inspector Ian McCormick  appealled to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area before 11.40pm on Friday night to contact police at Strandtown on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1708 04/05/18.

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Fifteen windows were broken in houses under construction at Woodlee Court off the Castlereagh Road. Photograph by Declan Roughan

Fifteen windows were broken in houses under construction at Woodlee Court off the Castlereagh Road. Photograph by Declan Roughan

©INPHO/Declan Roughan

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

Belfast Telegraph