Polish family targeted in hate attacks

Published Thursday, 16 January 2014
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A Polish woman living in east Belfast has told UTV how she believes her family were targeted in two attacks because of their nationality.

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Anna Bloch and her family have lived in Inverary Drive for several years, but after midnight on Thursday a brick was thrown through their window.

The young woman, her mother and step-father were in the house at the time, but were not hurt.

Her brother's home was also attacked with a brick. He lives with his wife and 11-year-old son in the nearby Sandbrook Park area.

Police have also appealed for information on a third property which was attacked in Victoria Court.

The attacks, which police are treating as hate crimes, are the latest in a series of similar incidents in recent months.

Local DUP councillor Gavin Robinson met with Ms Bloch to offer his support after the incident, which he said was "appalling".

"For a community that two weeks ago was being hailed as one which came together with a strong community spirit, last night's incidents are in no way reflective of the overwhelming majority of people within the Sydenham area of Belfast," he commented.

Mr Robinson called upon anyone in the area who may have information to contact the police.

East Belfast DUP MLA Robin Newton also condemned the incident.

"Only a few days ago the health minister was indicating that we needed new doctors, more nurses and medical staff in general to support our health service," he said.

"Many of these people come here to actually help us in our health services and bring skills to our economy. Those who carry out these attacks need to think about this."

East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle said these attacks would not be tolerated by the community.

"I am outraged that anyone should be targeted for this kind of attack. Hate crime is completely unacceptable and rejected by the vast majority of people in East Belfast," he said.

"There is no place in our society for this type of behaviour and I would urge the whole community to stand together in condemnation."

Although she said she was scared and that the next few days would be "difficult", Anna said she wanted to stay as she believes it is a "nice area" despite the attacks.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Rod in Carrickfergus wrote (92 days ago):
Handfull of coments about hard working polish people in n ireland and loads more coments about dog fighting!! Shows just how stupid people are ! People before dogs is my message of the day!!!
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (94 days ago):
The thing is that this woman works, as do all Polish migrants. I doubt the people who did this have ever worked or ever will work a day in their lives. If they really want the Polish to leave maybe they should get a job. Me I dont care and unlike the idiots who ping windows during the night I am not about to blame an entire nation of people for my own problems. My message to the people that did this is get a life and get a job
Paul in East Belfast wrote (94 days ago):
What a terrible event. Thoughts are with them. Racism is sick. I am from Northern Ireland but my wife is not, we often fear being attacked like this. Just small minded racist thugs. We are all HUMANS!!
philip campbell in belfast wrote (94 days ago):
good leadership from Gavin Robinson-especially after an attack with many families are left feeling hurt, confused angry and vulnerable. These attacks are becoming more frequent. Best time now for the politicans, church leaders community leaders and locals to rally round in a public display of support for the victims of these racist attacks.
nothing but racists in W Belfast wrote (94 days ago):
It is a basic human right to be able to live free from intimidation & haressement. These scumbags need to wise up and let people live in peace.
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