Police are investigating a series of sectarian hate crimes on homes in north Belfast.
Anti-Catholic slurs have been graffitied on walls, and windows have been smashed in attempts to intimidate local residents in Tyndale Gardens, in the Ballysillan area.
Three incidents of criminal damage have occurred in the area in less than two weeks.
The homes are believed to be allocated to Catholic families, in what is a predominantly unionist community.
Chief Inspector Kelly Moore said police patrols have been stepped up in the area to prevent further incidents, and to reassure the local community.
In the first incident on Monday 25 November, it was reported that graffiti had been sprayed on a house.
Chief Inspector Kelly Moore said, “In the second incident, it was reported that sometime overnight on Wednesday 27th November into Thursday 28th November, a number of windows had been smashed and sectarian graffiti sprayed on another property in Tyndale Gardens.
“Both these incidents are currently being treated as sectarian hate crimes.
“Just after 6pm on Tuesday 3 December, police received a report that a flag had been placed on a property in the Tyndale Gardens area sometime overnight. This report was initially treated as a hate incident.
“After further discussion with the person who reported the incident, a further incident of criminal damage which happened sometime on 29 November has been disclosed, so this incident is now also being treated as a hate crime."
Chief Inspector Kelly Moore continued: “It is very concerning that this has happened, we have had these reports made in a relatively short period of time, in around the same area. Any hate crime is unacceptable and we are investigating each of those reports.”
Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.
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