Attacks on homes treated as sectarian hate crimes

A DUP MLA has called for additional police resources to protect a small Protestant community living on a north Belfast interface.

Thursday, 9th August 2018, 4:44 pm
Updated Saturday, 1st September 2018, 10:21 am
DUP of (left to right) Councillor Dale Pankhurst, Janice Beggs of Lower Oldpark Community Association and William Humphrey MLA, at a property on Manor Street that was targeted in an overnight paint bomb attack, which is being treated as a sectarian hate crime

It comes after overnight attacks on three homes in the area.

Paint bombs were thrown and windows smashed at the properties on Manor Street in the early hours of Thursday.

No-one was injured in the incident but local residents were left shocked, according to the PSNI.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Inspector Robert McMurran said the attacks are being investigated as sectarian hate crimes.

"We received the first report just after midnight that two youths had hurled an object at the window of a house, before throwing paint over it and running off towards the Oldpark Road," he said.

"The window was shattered in the attack.

"A second report was made to us around 12.15am in which two males, wearing grey tops, threw a paint bomb at the front window of a property. The window was not broken in the incident.

"And at around 12.30am, a third report was made that a front living room window had been smashed at a house in the area. No-one was at home at the time.

"While no-one was hurt in any of the incidents, the residents were left shocked by what happened.

"I would appeal to anyone who saw these two males in the area or any suspicious activity at the time the incidents took place, to get in touch with us on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 12 of 9/8/18."

North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey has condemned the incident.

"This was an utterly appalling and depraved attack," he said.

"The PSNI have confirmed that they are treating it as a sectarian hate crime against this interface Protestant community.

"Those who carried out this attack are seeking to end that peace. I would appeal for calm and for condemnation of this attack from across the political spectrum.

"Party colleagues and I will be meeting with the PSNI, along with representatives of Lower Oldpark Community Association, to press for increased deployment of resources to protect the Lower Oldpark community."