Cars torched in 'hate crime' arson

Published Wednesday, 29 January 2014
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Cars belonging to four Slovakian and Polish families have been extensively damaged after they were deliberately set on fire in north Belfast.

Cars torched in 'hate crime' arson
One of the cars deliberately set on fire on Whitewell Road. (© Pacemaker)

The arson attack, which happened on Whitewell Road on Tuesday night shortly before 10.30pm, is being treated as a hate crime by police.

A Polish man had just moved into the area six weeks ago with his partner and their two young children, aged three and seven.

Their car was parked in the driveway adjacent to their home when it was set on fire.

He said that he feels lucky that the house did not catch fire, too.

"I'm very sad for myself and my family. I feel very bad for that."

He explained that he had lived in Northern Ireland for six or seven years and never had any problems.

He is now considering moving to a different area, or possibly leaving Northern Ireland.

"I'm still in shock. I don't know what to say," he added.

Further along the street, a Slovakian man, who was in the area visiting his friend, also had his car torched.

With his daughter acting as an interpretor, he told UTV that he has now lost a day's work because he was unable to drive and fears that he could lose his job.

A short time after the attacks, police arrested a 36-year-old man. He has since been bailed pending further enquiries.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
24 Comments
stephen in newtownabbey wrote (296 days ago):
Why is it fashionable now to blame all the crime on those who are forced to rely upon benefits? Racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc, are despicable, and transcend through all tiers of society.
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (296 days ago):
Dee in Newtownabbey I will say that I thoroughly agree with your post. Your statement is correct when you mention the "Safest places for immigrants to set up home is in Nationalist West Belfast, or a middle class area. The only thing wrong with this is that if the immigrants use these safe areas . Then the Bullying scum have won. This is a very sad position for these immigrants and a position which I would dread to be in
Chelsea in Belfast wrote (297 days ago):
Disgusting!!!Feel really sorry for these people!
Dee in Newtownabbey wrote (297 days ago):
Now before I get the usual hysterical reaction to my previous post let me elaborate. Racism is a societal problem which snakes its way into every community in N Ireland but the undeniable fact is that the vast majority of these hate crimes occur in loyalist areas. Just ask the PSNI. In my previous line of employment I did some consultancy work with the N Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities and I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with some representatives of the various ethnic groups that we now have in Belfast. And the feedback I got was they were increasingly feeling that the safest place for them to set up home would be either in middle-class mixed areas, for those who could afford to, and nationalist areas of Belfast. Statistically it's hard to argue with their logic. This was at the time of, what can only be called an 'ethnic purge' from the Sandy Row and Donegall Pass areas, which is still going on today incidentally. So yes what are the leaders in those communities where these incidents are more prevalent doing about the rising problem in their midst?
Dee in Newtownabbey wrote (297 days ago):
What are unionist and loyalist political representatives doing about this? It's now reaching very disturbing levels in certain areas of N Ireland.
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