Members of the Policing Board have met with representatives from key organisations across Northern Ireland to hear the views of Ethnic Minority groups and discuss actions that the Policing Board in conjunction with the groups and PSNI can take forward to assist with the issue of Race Hate Crime.
Speaking about the meeting Vice Chair of the Board’s Partnership Committee Debbie Watters said: “Our society has become increasingly more diverse with people from other countries contributing their skills and knowledge to our community and economy. The rise in crimes against those who have come to live in our country have no place in our community.
Everyone has a role to play in challenging attitudes of prejudice and hatred. The Board’s focus is on oversight on how the police are working to address race hate crime. It is vital that victims are confident the police will respond appropriately, that measures in place support victims and the police are pursuing and charging those behind hate crime attacks.”
She continued: “Today’s meeting brought together key representatives of minority ethnic communities and allowed the Board to get a clear picture of how crimes are being dealt with and how we can work with the police and communities to build trust, increase reporting and to ensure results are delivered. By working together practically, we can unite to tackle hate crime and support those who are victims more effectively.”
Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr commented, "We take hate crime very seriously and actively investigate all incidents reported to us. Hate crime is wrong on all levels and the PSNI will do everything it can to protect and reassure the growing number of people from different backgrounds and cultures who chose to come to Northern Ireland to live, work or study. We know this type of crime can have a devastating effect on victims and we want to reassure everyone that we are committed to tackling this issue and playing our role in preventing these crimes occurring.
We recognise the need towork in partnership with key organisations and today was a great opportunity to hear the views of those directly affected and collectively look at what we can do together to tackle this type of crime. Police alone cannot provide a solution to hate crime. It requires a long-term, collective strategyled by government and supported bybroader civic society. We can only be as successful as the information and support we receive."
For any further information please contact the Policing Board Communications Office on 07801738795.
Notes to Editors
- Board Members in attendance were: Debbie Watters (Vice Chair of the Partnership Committee, Brice Dickson, Chris Lyttle MLA and Pat Sheehan MLA.
- Organisations in attendance: N.Ireland Council for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (NICRAS), Bryson Intercultural, Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, Belfast Migrant Centre, Craigavon Intercultural Programme (CIP), African and Caribbean Support Organisation N.Ireland, Community Restorative Justice Ireland (representing the Travellers community), PSNI and Belfast PCSP.
- Photo caption: Vice Chair of the Partnership Committee Debbie Watters with Board Members, ACC Kerr and community representatives at the meeting to discuss race hate crime.
Notes to Editors ends.