Three cars were set on fire in what the PSNI has described as racially motivated hate crimes.

Police said the arson attacks took place on three streets in east Belfast in the early hours of this morning.

In the first incident, police were alerted to a car having been set on fire on Florida Street off the Ravenhill Road shortly before 4.15am.

Officers said the vehicle was extensively damaged and a number of other cars parked nearby were also damaged as a result.

In the second attack, around the same time, a police patrol in the Wayland Street area off the Castlereagh Road discovered a small fire on the bonnet of a parked car.

The fire was put out but not before the front of the car and the windscreen were damaged.

And in the third incident, which occurred a short time later, a car parked on Carlingford Street near the Woodstock Road was extensively damaged after being set on fire.

The PSNI said it was investigating a link between the attacks and said they were being treated as racially motivated hate crimes.

Officers appealed for witnesses to come forward.