Graffiti ‘only serves to raise tensions’

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A recent spate of racist and sectarian graffiti only serves to heighten tensions, according to one political group.

The graffiti, which has been appearing across the district, has been condemned by local political groups and the PSNI.

Last Tuesday, some time between midnight and 6am, racist graffiti was painted on the front wall and window of a house at Brookfield Meadows.

Police, who are appealing for information, are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Meanwhile, in unrelated incidents in Laurencetown and Lenaderg, sectarian daubings have been condemned by the Banbridge branch of the Progressive Unionist Party.

A spokesperson said, “The people who are behind this vandalism need to stop.

“They only serve to intimidate the local community and raise tensions.”

“It’s up to the PSNI to ensure that these individuals cannot operate in our communities.

“The community wants nothing to do with these people. We will be seeking assurances that the PSNI will be robust in dealing with any such activity in the area,” he said.

“We call on those responsible to desist immediately and engage positively in the community.”

The chairman of the Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership has also raised concerns about the recent increase in graffiti and said that the appearance of racist slogans is a new problem to the town.

“Over the last 40 years there has never been that sort of problem in the town,” said Councillor Junior McCrum.

“Community relations in the town have always been very good and I would imagine that this is just a small minority of people intent on causing problems.

“But all that they are doing is causing expense to the local council, ratepayers and homeowners.

“It benefits nobody and I would appeal to those involve to stop it.”

He called on anyone who has information about who is behind any form of graffiti to contact the police.

Police are appealing to anyone who has information in relation to the incidents to contact them in Banbridge on 0845 600 8000.

If you prefer to provide information without giving your details you can contact the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.