RACIST posters in South Belfast are being treated as a "hate incident" by police.

The threatening signs which have appeared on lamp-posts in several streets on Finaghy Road South read: "ATTENTION Landlords/Housing Associations/NIHE. We have had enough of undesirables and immigrants being placed into our community. The time has come for locals only. The Finaghy community must and will come first. We will protect our families at all costs. (This we promise)."

Sinn Féin councillor for the area Geraldine McAteer condemned those behind the signs.

Posting on Twitter she said: "Called to Upper Lisburn Road yesterday after distressed Finaghy residents sent me pics of racist posters. I've reported the posters to PSNI as hate crime. They must be removed asap. The Finaghy community must not be intimidated. Ring PSNI at 101 to report these posters."

Alliance councillor Micky Murray said he is working with the PSNI to have the posters removed.

Police have confirmed that posters have been erected in the Locksley Gardens, Locksley Park, Benmore Drive and Erinvale Avenue.

Inspector Hakin said: “Investigations are ongoing, and this is being treated as a hate incident. Engagement is ongoing with community representatives in the area and our partner agencies in relation to the matter.

“Police would appeal to anyone who may have any information which might assist with enquiries to get in touch. The number to call is 101, quoting reference number 1556 of 20/02/24.”

A Housing Executive spokesperson said: “We do not believe incidents like this reflect the values of the local community and we understand this is now under investigation by police.
“We work proactively to promote inclusivity and diversity in our homes and estates and that is why it is particularly disappointing when incidents of this nature occur. All our housing allocations will continue to be carried out in line with the rules of the common housing selection scheme.”

Last November similar posters were erected in the Belvoir area of South Belfast. Those posters stated "NIHE and Private Landlords take note, Belvoir will no longer accept the re-housing of illegal immigrants or the excrement of local communities." At the time the PSNI said the matter was "being treated by police as a hate incident".

Posters in Belvoir last November

Posters in Belvoir last November

Also in November last year graffiti appeared on a house in the Suffolk estate warning that  the property will be 'wrecked' if the Housing Executive fail to allocate it to 'locals'.