Police investigating the deliberate fire which caused significant damage to a property being used by the Belfast Multi-Cultural Association on Donegall Pass, revisited the scene yesterday evening (Thurs. 21st Jan).

Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick explained, “As part of our investigation, which has included door to door enquiries, community engagement and a review of CCTV, we are continuing to appeal for information.

“Yesterday evening, we stopped and spoke with motorists and pedestrians who may have been in the area at the same time last week, to see if anyone had information that could help us identify those involved.

“I am also grateful to the independent charity Crimestoppers, who are offering a reward of up to £5,000 to anyone providing information directly and anonymously to Crimestoppers which leads to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons linked to this incident.

“This fire, which resulted in serious damage to the building, took place on Thursday evening, 14 January. It is believed the fire was started deliberately, and we are treating it as a hate crime.

“Those who worked in or volunteered in the Centre were providing much needed support to the local community. This criminal incident is unacceptable and we are working tirelessly to identify those responsible and put them before the courts.

“Again, we are appealing to anyone with any information who has yet to come forward, to contact us directly by calling 101 quoting reference number 1626 of 14/01/21.

“You can also submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/

“Alternatively, to stay anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111 or complete their simple and secure anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org."