Response to hate crime discussed

08 May 2014

Policing Board Members today discussed the police response to hate crime and also heard from the Rainbow Project on issues relating to transphobic and homophobic hate crime.

Speaking about discussions Partnership Committee Chair Dolores Kelly MLA said:

“As a Board we unreservedly condemn all forms of hate crime. The figures published today undoubtedly are a wake up call on this growing problem in our community. We know only too well that the statistics don’t always tell the true story and there are genuine concerns about under reporting of hate crime.

ACC Kerr briefed the Committee on the actions being taken by PSNI in response to recent incidents of racist hate crime in Belfast. We welcome these steps and whilst the police have the key enforcement role, it is also vital that victims are given support from other statutory agencies, the wider Criminal Justice System and from within the community where attacks or incidents happen.

Following a meeting in Belfast earlier this week, it is clear some tangible measures are going to be taken forward on this. As a Board we will be focussing on PSNI enforcement action in arresting and charging those behind hate crime attacks and how those who promote messages of hatred through online media are dealt with.

Committee Members also heard today about the issues for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and/ or Transgender community. Next week is Northern Ireland Anti-Homophobia and Transphobia Week and as a Committee we give our support to this awareness raising initiative.”

Ends.

For further information, please contact the Board’s Communications Branch on 07801738795.

Notes to editors: