Police are investigating after racist graffiti was scrawled on the shop front of a storied former south Belfast shoe shop on the market for sale for close to two years.
The graffiti, on the shutters of Reid's Shoes of Sandy Row, suggested it was "OK to be white", that certain people should "go home" and also referred to housing and "local people" as well as country and laws.
Belfast City Council staff painted over the graffiti within hours of the scrawl being placed on the shutters it is believed some time between 1am and 2am on Friday.
Similar graffiti, referring to "our country, our laws", was written on a wall in nearby Maxwell Street.
PSNI Chief Inspector Alan Lowry said: “We are treating this matter as a hate crime. There should be no place in our society for this type of behaviour."
Police are asking anyone with information to contact police at Lisburn Road on 101, quoting reference number 245 08/12/23, or report online at https://www.psni.police.uk/report or in confidence through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Reid's Shoes Limited went into voluntary liquidation in late 2021 and the two-storey building on Sandy Row was put up for sale in March of the following year. It was built in 1986.
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The building was originally listed for offers at £695,000 but that has now dropped to £525,000. The company is also selling an estimated £200,000 commercial premises on Market Square in Lisburn.