Communities are being warned to be vigilant in the run-up to Christmas after a number of burglaries in North Belfast over the weekend. On Saturday (December 3) a man was hit on the head with a hammer by a group of four hooded men after they broke into his Alexandra Park Avenue home.

In a separate incident on the same day three males forced entry to a house on the New Lodge Road and hit the male occupant over the head with a bottle and then stabbed him in the head with the broken bottle.

The 31-year-old suffered facial injuries, a black eye and swelling and cuts to his head.

The injuries in both incidents were not life threatening.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Conor Maskey urged local people to “look out for each other” by reporting suspicious behaviour.

“These incidents over the weekend are to be completely condemned and must have been traumatic for the families concerned,” he said.

“Communities have to respond to this by looking after each other and trying to assist when they see suspicious activity. And it becomes all the more necessary to be vigilant over Christmas because there are more goods in homes but also because there are repeat offenders who are out over the Christmas period.”

Police have appealed to anyone with any information on either of the burglaries to contact Tennent Street CID on 0845 600 8000. Or they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.