ALLIANCE Party Councillor Geraldine Rice has said she hopes that life can return to normal for members of ethnic minorities in South Belfast, following the news that a UVF leader had been stood down following recent racist attacks.
Cllr Rice said: “If this move ends the recent disgusting series of racist attacks, then that is something positive. However, it is worth remembering that the violence against ethnic minorities in South Belfast should never have happened in the first place.
“An end to physical attacks doesn’t mean an end to racism altogether, and it is important that the community, police, schools and churches continue to co-operate to reinforce the message that racism is unacceptable in our society.
Cllr Rice, who is a member of Castlereagh District Policing Partnership, added: “Efforts must continue to be made to build confidence between the PSNI and minority ethnic communities, as well as combating racist attitudes and intolerance. So far, we have seen no convictions, so I welcome the news that the PSNI is planning to learn from the experiences of officers dealing with hate crime in Leeds and Bradford.