Northern Ireland

Police treating scrawling of racist graffiti on south Belfast former shoe shop as hate crime

Racist graffiti on the former shoe shop on Sandy Row was quickly painted over
Racist graffiti on the former shoe shop on Sandy Row was quickly painted over Racist graffiti on the former shoe shop on Sandy Row was quickly painted over

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. 

The former Reid's Shoes on Sandy Row has been on the market for nearly two years
The former Reid's Shoes on Sandy Row has been on the market for nearly two years The former Reid's Shoes on Sandy Row has been on the market for nearly two years

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." 

Graffiti on Maxwell Street off Sandy Row
Graffiti on Maxwell Street off Sandy Row Graffiti on Maxwell Street off Sandy Row

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.”

Racist graffiti scrawled on shutters early on Friday
Racist graffiti scrawled on shutters early on Friday Racist graffiti scrawled on shutters early on Friday

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.   

Inside Reid's Shoes, built in 1986. McQuoids Estate Agents
Inside Reid's Shoes, built in 1986. McQuoids Estate Agents Inside Reid's Shoes, built in 1986. McQuoids Estate Agents