DUP CONDEMNS NORTH BELFAST RACE HATE ATTACKS

DUP councillor Brian Kingston condemns race hate attacks in north Belfast

DUP councillor Brian Kingston condemns race hate attacks in north Belfast

NORTH Belfast DUP Councillor Brian Kingston has condemned a series of attacks in the area all of which the police are treating as hate crimes.

A gang of men carrying knives and a hatchet have carried out a series of racist attacks in the Glenbryn/Hesketh areas.

The gang assaulted and threatened two Hungarian men who were walking in the Glenbryn area on Friday night.

They then followed the pair to Hesketh Park, where the gang threw a bin at the window of a house occupied by other Hungarian residents.

On Saturday afternoon, the same gang threatened more Hungarian residents at a second house in Hesketh Park.

Police have linked all three incidents and are treating them as “race hate crimes”.

The first attack took place at about 10.30 pm on Friday at the junction of Glenbryn Gardens and Ardoyne Road, when the gang approached and attacked the two Hungarian men, who are in their 20s.

The victims fled towards Hesketh Park, where they got into a car and escaped.

The injuries the pair sustained in the street assault were not life-threatening.

None of the residents in the Hesketh Park property were hurt when the gang threw the bin at their window.

At about 3.45 pm on Saturday, police responded to a report that the gang, again armed with knives, were threatening more Hungarian residents in the second house.

However, when officers reached the scene the gang had left.

Insp Roy Burnside said: “Inquiries into these incidents are still very much ongoing, however, I would ask anyone who knows anything to contact us in Tennent Street police station on the non-emergency number 101.”

Alderman Brian Kingston said: “These attacks are deeply disturbing.

“I have spoken to local community workers who are appealing for calm and for no further incidents, and I echo that appeal for calm.

“Those responsible for these attacks have broken the law and there can be no justification for their criminal actions.

“I appeal for anyone who can assist the police in their investigations into these incidents to pass that information on without delay. If allegations exist, they should be reported to the police for proper investigation.

“There are a number of foreign nationals living in this area who have lived there peaceably for some time and are part of that community.

“These attacks are out of character for this close-knit community and I hope that this will be an isolated incident,” added the DUP councillor.

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