Inspector Richard Murray said: “We received a report around 5pm yesterday, Sunday 29 October, about a group of people dressed as Ku Klux Klan members in the vicinity of Greenwell Street in the town on Saturday night, October 27.
“We are also aware of images that are circulating that show people dressed as Ku Klux Klan members.
“Our enquiries are ongoing, and we are treating this as a hate incident at this time.
“Hate crime, in all its forms, is totally unacceptable.
“It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to ensure that we live in a society where diversity is respected.
“If you or someone you know is the victim of a hate crime please contact police or your local support agency. For more information visit https://www.psni.police.uk/
“I am appealing to anyone who can help us identify any of the people in the group, or who can tell us about anything about this to contact police in Newtownards on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1066 of 28/10/18.”
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.