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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Social media posts targeting asylum seekers in Carrickfergus being treated as potential hate crimes


Police have warned on Friday that social media posts regarding UK asylum seekers being accommodated at a hotel in Carrickfergus, are being investigated as potential hate crimes.


Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton, Head of the Police Service's Community Safety Department said:


"We have received a number of complaints regarding social media content focusing on the use of a hotel in Carrickfergus to accommodate men and women seeking asylum in the United Kingdom.


"The content of these posts is currently being investigated as potential hate crimes. It is important to remember that it is not illegal to seek asylum in the United Kingdom.


"Once people arrive in the UK and seek asylum they then go through a rigorous process during which their asylum cases are assessed before a decision is taken to remain as refugees.


"Refugees status is granted on the basis that they could not live safely in any part of their country for fear of persecution on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or anything else that puts them at risk including their gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.


"As a Police Service we have a duty and are committed to protecting everyone but in particular vulnerable people.


"Over the course of this week officers in Carrickfergus have been engaging with the men and women who are seeking asylum and various stakeholders including the Home Office and Mid and East Antrim Council.


"Police will continue to engage with and provide reassurance to all parties and indeed the wider migrant community who we know are concerned by these events."


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