Belfast Telegraph

Watch: 'An attack on the most vulnerable people' - Welcome Organisation reacts to ram raid on Belfast homeless charity

The chief executive of the Welcome Organisation has described a ram raid on the homeless charity's premises as an attack on the most vulnerable in society.

It comes after a black Nissan Leaf car was used to ram the premises on Townsend Street in the early hours of Monday morning.

Sandra Moore condemned the timing of the attack as colder weather approaches, saying that without the centre, homeless people 'could be dying in the streets'.

She said it was fortunate there was no one in the building at the time.

"We will get it fixed but it's very very upsetting. Where the vehicle went in to, there would usually have been staff and the outreach team had just exited the premises. We are talking about thousands and thousands of pounds worth of damage," she said.

"We're a very resilient crew and I'm happy to say it is business as usual and we'll still be open to provide services.

"What would be in the mind of someone who would drive into a homeless persons centre, an essential service? This is an attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society."

Police at the Welcome Centre, west Belfast on November 4th 2019 where a car has rammed through the shutters (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Police at the Welcome Centre, west Belfast on November 4th 2019 where a car has rammed through the shutters (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Police at the Welcome Centre, west Belfast on November 4th 2019 where a car has rammed through the shutters (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Police at the Welcome Centre, west Belfast on November 4th 2019 where a car has rammed through the shutters (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The vehicle had been taken in a creeper style burglary from a home in the Hampton Park area of Belfast at around 5.20pm on Sunday.

Damage was caused to the front shutter as well as to the wall and access door of the property.

A man, wearing a grey tracksuit made off towards the Divis Street area following the incident. 

Police are keen to hear from the occupants of a white vehicle which was in the area of the time and they may have witnessed the incident.

A PSNI spokesman added: "Another car, a blue Ford Focus was also taken and was later involved in a damage only road traffic collision at the Cavendish Street area of Belfast shortly before 9pm yesterday evening.

"The driver of the vehicle made off towards the Iris Street area. Entry was gained to the house and keys for both vehicles were taken during the incident.

“Enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone with any information to contact police on 101, quoting reference 47 04/11/19. 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.”

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