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'Taigs Out' sectarian hate note forces family out of Belfast home

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Smashed glass caused by latest attack on the Alliance Close property

Smashed glass caused by latest attack on the Alliance Close property

The sinister threat received by the family

The sinister threat received by the family

Smashed glass caused by latest attack on the Alliance Close property

Police are investigating a string of sectarian hate crimes that forced a family out of their home in north Belfast.

Smashed windows and a sinister note with the message "Taigs Out" were reported at a property in the Alliance Close area of the city.

It's understood police advised the family to leave the property for their safety.

PSNI Chief Inspector Kelly said the latest of three incidents was reported earlier this week, with windows smashed between midnight on Friday and 2.30pm on Monday. Stones were also thrown at the property on January 21 and the threatening note was reported in December last year.

"We are treating each of these incidents as sectarian hate crimes," she said.

"While police have regularly patrolled the area and have been liaising with the householder, local partner agencies and representatives, those involved in these incidents have most likely stepped out of the shadows in the hours of darkness for a few short moments to carry out these crimes."

She called the incidents "absolutely unacceptable" and appealed for help from the local community to bring those responsible before the courts.

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Smashed glass caused by latest attack on the Alliance Close property

Smashed glass caused by latest attack on the Alliance Close property

Smashed glass caused by latest attack on the Alliance Close property

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker called on unionist politicians in the area to "show leadership" by condemning the sectarian threat.

"I was disgusted that a mother and four children had to leave their home in north Belfast due to receiving a warning saying 'Taigs Out' in the post and her home has been attacked. The local community is rightly angry about this," Cllr McCusker said.

"Unionist politicians from north Belfast must show leadership within their communities and strongly condemn this despicable act. I am calling on the DUP and others to make it clear they do not support this action and that it will not be tolerated. Their failure to do so thus far has been deafening."

The DUP North Belfast MLA William Humphrey also expressed his disgust at the intimidation.

"I am appalled to hear that there has been an attack on a house in Alliance Close which we condemn without equivocation," Mr Humphrey said.

"This clearly will have been deeply upsetting for the residents concerned and for neighbours in this residential area close to a community interface.

"We would appeal for any information regarding this criminal act to be passed on to the PSNI to assist with their investigation."

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