The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe has underlined the Council’s priority of making all its citizens feel welcome, safe and respected.
Speaking just hours after a petrol bomb attack on a family home in the Ballykeel area of Ballymena he said: “I condemn, unreservedly, the hate attack on a family in Ballykeel.
“These attacks are senseless and they achieve nothing but sadness for the individuals concerned, and the community at large.”
He said through the Borough’s Good Relations’ Unit and Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), that Council will continue to work in partnership with others to promote Good Relations.
“In Mid and East Antrim Borough we are always striving towards the vision of Council’s Corporate Plan, ‘Working Together to create a better future for all, and the priority of ‘Building stronger, safer and healthier communities’.
“Above all we wish to ensure that everyone who lives, works, socialises or visits Mid and East Antrim feels welcome, safe and respected,” Cllr. Ashe concluded.
Alderman Gregg McKeen, Chairperson of Mid and East Antrim PCSP added: “Behaviour such as this will not be tolerated. Mid and East Antrim PCSP has prioritised hate crime in its current Action Plan and will continue to strive to rid our community of such despicable acts.”
He was speaking after PSNI Superintendent Ryan Henderson said: “We are treating the attack as a religious hate crime. The home owners are long-standing and valued members of our community. Police and other statutory agencies are offering support to the family. Officers have worked through the night at the crime scene and will continue to work hard to identify those behind the petrol bomb attack.
“I am thankful that we are not dealing with serious injuries or even deaths today. There were four people in the house at the time of the attack and the safety of neighbours was also put at risk early this morning.
“I would ask that anyone who has any information on the incident contact Ballymena detectives on the non-emergency number 101. Or, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”