PSNI investigating social media posts about asylum seekers at Carrick hotel
Police have launched an investigation after receiving complaints about social media posts relating to around 30 asylum seekers being placed in the Belfast Loughshore Hotel in Carrickfergus.
In a statement issued today (Friday), Assistant Chief Constable, Bobby Singleton, head of the PSNI’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 go through a rigorous process during which their asylum cases are assessed before a decision is taken to remain as refugees.”
ACC Singleton added: “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 are committed to protecting everyone, but in particular, vulnerable people.
“Over the course of this week officers in Carrick have been engaging with the men and women who are seeking asylum and various stakeholders including the Home Office and Mid and East Antrim Borough 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.”
Click here to read Two asylum seekers removed from NI hotel and taken to undisclosed location after photos of them appear on social media
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