RACISM is believed to be behind an arson attack on a car in Westland Road during the early hours of Friday morning.
The attack happened at 5am, when a green Renault Clio - owned by a young Polish couple - was totally destroyed in the blaze.
Another Renault Clio - a silver-coloured model owned by a Portadown-born resident - suffered scorch damage, having been parked close to the other vehicle which was the prime target.
It happened just three weeks after the homes of Polish and Lithuanian families were targeted at Westland Road. But while police confirm the arson element of the latest attack, they say that “a motive for the attack has still to be established”.
The Polish couple - who do not wish to be identified - said they were frightened by the arson attack, but did not want to leave the Redmanville estate.
“We are happy here and we have good, concerned neighbours,” said the young woman. “They are angry at what has happened and most of them support us. We appreciate that.”
The owner of the damaged car said that he, too, didn’t wish to be identified. “I haven’t slept since it happened,” he added. “This action is very intimidating. My own car is driveable, but this gives the estate an awful image and it has to stop. This shouldn’t happen to anyone.”
Local councillor Darryn Causby commented, “All people - whatever their backgrounds - have a right to leave their property unattended at night, without fear of it being damaged in any way.
“I appeal for calm and an end to all these attacks. There is no excuse for these attacks, whatever twisted motive the vandals may think they have.”
Police, too, renewed their appeal for witnesses to the attacks, and to the incidents reported three weeks ago. Windows were smashed and paint was thrown at the homes of neighbouring Polish and Lithuanian families, and prior to that, an East Timor family also had their windows broken.
The police statement said, “Anyone with information or who noticed any unusual activity in the area during the early hours of Friday April 27 is asked to contact police on 0845 600 8000.
Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”