The PSNI are treating as a hate crime the appearance of tricolor flags and curbstones in green, white and orange.  

Curbs and a wall painted in green, white and orange in the Co Derry town of Limavady are being treated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) as a hate crime. They are appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

“IRA” was also spray painted onto a road sign and tricolor flags have appeared, a week after sectarian graffiti was daubed onto the wall of a Catholic Church.

When questioned by The Irish News as to why these acts were being treated as a hate crime, a police spokesperson said: "This was perceived to be a hate crime by the reporting person and is, therefore, being investigated by police as a hate crime."

The tricolors have been condemned by both nationalists and unionists with Sinn Féin Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Caoimhe Archibald stating: "I condemn outright the painting of the curbstones green, white and orange in Limavady.

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Tricolour painted kerbs treated as a hate crime https://t.co/7O5mYxWc9S pic.twitter.com/maGwZAo9xs

— The Irish News (@irish_news) August 9, 2018

"There has been an increase in the numbers of flags, including paramilitary flags, being flown and a surge in kerbs painted red, white and blue in the town.

"Sinn Féin has consistently stated that kerbs and flags should not be used to mark territory."

Councilor for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Aaron Callan also stated, "I strongly condemn the recent painting of curbs and erecting of flags on the Ballyquin Road.

"The recent graffiti attacks in Limavady doesn't represent anyone in our community.

"The flying of paramilitary flags and painting of kerb stones does not strengthen the union or bring about a united Ireland. It only creates ill feeling with our neighbours and our town.

"Limavady is better than the recent negative news it has been receiving."

Read more: Irish flag banned from St. Patrick's Day parade in Northern Ireland

Limavady church defaced in 'sectarian hate crime'. https://t.co/uIxHtUnfGm pic.twitter.com/CsOteBJKYn

— UTV Live News (@UTVNews) July 31, 2018

While there were also reports of the tricolor flag being flown, the PSNI has said that "the removal of flags is not the responsibility of the PSNI.

"Police will only act to remove flags if there are substantial risks to public safety.

"However, we fully understand the flying of flags can cause frustration in some communities.

"It is our experience that such issues are most successfully resolved through engagement and collaborative working between local communities and their representatives, and police are always ready and willing to be a partner in such arrangements."

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A hate crime in Northern Ireland is defined as "any criminal offense which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic."

When being investigated, they are categorized as having had a hate motivation based on the perception of the complainant.

Do you think the curbstones are a hate crime? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, below.

Green, white and orange were painted on the curbstones in Limavady, Derry. BBC