Indian community target for racist graffiti

PSNI
PSNI

Members of the Indian and broader Asian community in Ballymena, many of them established in the town for generations, have been sickened by racist graffiti painted on their properties.

Police in Ballymena are investigating after racist graffiti appeared on a number of properties last week.

Nine houses in the Leighinmohr Avenue area were targeted along with another property in Tullymore Park.

Slogans were also daubed on a wall at the local council office carpark.

It is understood that one of their neighbours was so upset by the incident that he painted over the slogans.

Officers are treating this incident as a hate crime and are appealing for witnesses. They would be particularly keen to hear from anyone who could help identify two males spotted in the area between 3.30am and 4.30am.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that will assist the investigation to contact us on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Ivy Ridge of Ballymena’s inter-ethnic forum said the incident was highly unusual in Ballymena.

“Many of the people affected have been in Ballymena for decades. Their children have been born and brought up here and feel fully part of the community.

“This has obviously caused upset and some anxiety but we have already held a meeting with police to assure people that they will be supported,” she said.