The burning of a car belonging to the partner of a senior member of the UPRG in North Belfast on Wednesday is just the latest incident of intimidation against the interface worker’s girlfriend that he says is aimed at him.
John Howcroft said his girlfriend has been targeted a number of times at her Glenbryn home and added he will now be sitting down with her to discuss her security.
He said the early morning attack was the second act of intimidation against her, after a large group of men confronted her last year.
“I’m not too bad but my girlfriend is a bit shaken up which is understandable,” he said. “It’s happened before. 40 masked individuals came to her house before and issued threats against me. All this is aimed at me, but she’s a secondary victim.”
He said it was a “blessing” no-one was injured.
“They set fire to the car and then the door which almost burned down the house. It’s a blessing everyone is okay.”
John said they would now be reviewing their security.
“I have my own house but we have to sit down and talk about our security.”
The North Belfast News understands mainstream loyalists are privately blaming a criminal element of expelled UDA members for increasing tensions. A PSNI spokesman appealed for information.
“Police in North Belfast are appealing for information after a report of criminal damage at the Alliance Road area in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday August 13). Shortly before 3.15am, it was reported that a car was on fire in the area. A blue Ford Focus is believed to have been damaged during the incident. Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene and the fire was extinguished. Enquiries are continuing but at this stage, it is believed the fire was started deliberately.
“Police would ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact police in Tennent Street on the non emergency number 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”