Police probe 'hate crime' after offensive graffiti daubed on wall in Ballymena

Police are investigating after offensive graffiti was daubed on a wall in Ballymena, Co Antrim

POLICE are treating the daubing of graffiti in Ballymena as a racist hate crime.

The graffiti was discovered at a pedestrian subway near the centre of the town in Larne Road Link.

The words "Romas go home" accompanied by what appeared to be an image of a rude hand gesture.

The graffiti appeared at a time when tensions appeared to be reducing in recent weeks surrounding the issue of migrants in Ballymena.

In recent months there were public meetings in the town on the migration issue and Britain First also held rallies in the town.

The PSNI confirmed they received a report on of graffiti discovered at the Larne Road Link.

A spokesman said: "At around 12:30pm, it was reported that racist graffiti was located in the area. Officers have liaised with partner

agencies to have the graffiti removed from the area.

"Enquiries are continuing and at this stage, police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

"This is not reflective of the local community of Ballymena. I would urge people to please remember that everyone who has made their home in Ballymena has the right to be shown respect and tolerance.

"Officers continue to work closely with key stakeholders and partner agencies to make Ballymena a safe place for everyone to live and work."

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