1. ITV Report

Police investigate eight 'orchestrated' racist attacks in east Belfast

A Romanian woman had racist graffiti painted on the wall of her home in East Belfast. Photo: ITV News

Police in Northern Ireland have said that eight racist attacks across east Belfast in the past 24 hours are linked and were orchestrated.

Cars and homes were damaged, and racist graffiti paints on walls in five homes on Monday night. Police say they are following a number of lines of inquiry, and said they could not rule out Loyalist paramilitary involvement.

Ben Chapman reports from Belfast.

Rosie Lakatsova, who is Slovakian, had "Romanians out" painted across her home in Bloomfield Avenue in east Belfast. Her windows were smashed, and paint was thrown over her front door and downstairs windows.

She said she was left feeling scared and confused by the attack.

Just yesterday I walked around the area and there was nothing. I am scared and frightened and I don't know why they would do this. This is a very good street.

– Rosie Lakatsova

Police Service of Northern Ireland Superintendent Mark McEwan told UTV:

There was a group of between 10 to 15 people involved, some of them masked. There was clearly a racial motivation and obviously they set out to intimidate and scare people.

Many of the homes attacked had young children inside.

– Mark McEwan

The attacks are the latest in a spike of racist incidents across east Belfast against immigrants, and police have set up a specialist phoneline for people to report the attacks.