Syrian family home attacked in Newry 'hate crime'

image copyrightJustin McNulty
image captionThe attack happened in the early hours of Sunday

The home of a Syrian family has been attacked in Newry, County Down, in what police are treating as a hate crime.

The attack happened in Carlingford Park in the city in the early hours of Sunday.

PSNI Ch Insp Amanda Ford said a number of windows were smashed and graffiti was sprayed on the property at about 02:00 BST.

"This type of violent crime is unacceptable in our communities," she said.

"Hate crimes have no place in today's society and will simply not be tolerated."

She added that police inquiries are continuing.

'Vile and wrong'

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh, Justin McNulty, described the attack as "sickening".

"What is even more distressing is the potential that this attack was racially motivated," he said.

"Newry is an incredibly diverse and vibrant city and for any individual or family to be targeted simply because of their ethnicity or nationality is vile and wrong.

"It is crucial we all stand united to support our neighbours and fellow citizens to show in the strongest form that racism has no place in our society.

"I appeal to anyone with information regarding this sickening hate crime to bring it forward to the police immediately."

Sinn Féin councillor Valerie Harte said the attack had been met with anger amongst the local community.

"I am both disgusted and saddened to learn of this attack on a family who have just recently moved into the area," she said.

"This was a cowardly attack carried out under the cover of darkness and forced this family to flee their home.

"Those responsible have shown blatant disregard for the community.

"The racists need to hear loud and clear that their cowardly actions are unacceptable."