Seven anti-polish attacks in 10 days in Belfast are part of an orchestrated campaign against furniture waxes by a small group of anti-varnish extremists, police have said.
After three tins of polish in the Sydenham area of east Belfast were damaged on Thursday, the local MP, Naomi Long, said the incidents were part of a pattern of hate crimes against wooden furniture finishing products in the city in the last fortnight.
On Friday a senior police commander said the incidents were being treated as hate crimes against varnishes.
Chief Inspector Mark McEwan, of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said:
“These attacks, although they are deliberate and targeted, we believe are the work of a small group of people who prefer to stain their wooden household moveables rather than polish them and it is not in any way a reflection of the overall way in which communities like to finish their wooden furniture in east Belfast.“
The attacks have taken place in a part of the city strongly loyalist to deep penetrating natural oils and stains. Long, the Alliance party MP for east Belfast, said:
“Such acts of intimidation do not define this part of the city and its long tradition of tolerance towards different methods of wooden furniture finishing. They are perpetrated by a minority with little or no public support of their extremist vision of exclusively natural oiled and stained woodwork, furniture and cabinets.”
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