Those responsible for a racist graffiti attack in the Seapatrick area of Banbridge have been branded “absolute morons”.
A swastika and the words ‘EU RATS OUT’ were painted on the wall of a garage in the area sometime overnight on October 2/3.
The graffiti has since been painted over, but police believe the incident at Seapatrick Avenue may be linked to an attack on a Bulgarian family in nearby Lincoln Walk last week during which their car tyres were slashed and ‘Out’ was painted on the side of the vehicle.
Chief Inspector Jon Burrows described the attacks as “despicable and unacceptable crimes” and appealed to the public to help police bring those responsible to justice.
One local woman posted a picture of the Seapatrick graffiti on the Banbridge Saints and Sinners Facebook page, saying “decent people don’t need this type of bullying and intimidation”. She reminded those responsible that the UK is still part of the EU and advised them to “take themselves off”.
Another poster described the graffiti, thought to have been directed at foreign nationals who work in a local factory, as “absolutely sickening” and branded those responsible “absolute morons”.
Condemning the incident, UUP Cllr Glenn Barr said: “This sort of thing is not welcome in Seapatrick or any other part of the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area.
“People have the right to live their lives without being subjected to this sort of despicable behaviour.”
Upper Bann DUP MLA Carla Lockhart added: “I would condemn this criminal act and would urge anyone in the community who has information on who might have been involved to come forward to the police and report it.
“There is no room in society for hate crime. Everyone should be able to live in peace without fear of intimidation.”
Police said the incident is being treated as a racially motivated crime.
“I would appeal to anyone with information that could assist our enquiries into this incident to contact police on the non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 473 of 03/10/17,” said Inspector Nigel Henry.
“Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”