Northern Ireland

Rise in north Belfast hate crimes discussed at urgent PCSP meeting

Jamie ‘Jay’ Marks, 18, who died in a road crash in Co Down
Police have attended a meeting in north Belfast to address a rise in hate crimes. (PA)

An urgent meeting has been held in north Belfast to address hate incidents in the area linked to rising anti-social behaviour.

Police have reported an increase in hate crimes, including a sectarian-motivated attack on a home in the Carlisle Circus area last weekend, in which a front window was smashed.

The North Belfast District Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) held the meeting on Thursday, with members of the PSNI’s District Policing Command, Belfast City Council, and the Education Authority among others.

PSNI Chief Inspector Alan Lowry said: “While many young people behave responsibly, unfortunately, the behaviour of some can have a significant impact on the local community.

”However, I want to assure the community in north Belfast that we liaise on a regular basis with a number of partner agencies, working collectively to prevent hate crimes and anti-social behaviour which at times leads to criminal behaviour and to detect and deter those involved.”

He added: “To those who become involved in the behaviour we have recently seen, I am asking them to stop and think about the harm and damage you’re inflicting on the community when you choose to be a part of this type of reckless activity, there is no place in our communities for hate or sectarian behaviour.”

North Belfast PCSP chair, Sinn Féin councillor Conor Maskey, said: “We continue to engage with our partner organisations, such as the PSNI and community stakeholders, to offer support in tackling antisocial behaviour at interface areas.

“There is no place for hate or sectarianism in our city and we will continue to work closely with all those involved in trying to bring an end to violence and disruption.”