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09 Dec 2021

Slight rise in Derry hate crime figures

Overall picture for offences of a racial, sectarian and homophobic nature in the North of Ireland as a whole is disturbing say Amnesty International

PSNI

The PSNI have released their annual report on how many hate-related crimes and incidents were reported in the North of Ireland

A PSNI report has shown a slight rise in racially and sectarian-motivated crime in Derry.

The annual report, which covers all council districts in the North up to September 30, 2021, showed that in the area covering Derry City and Strabane, there were 71 racially-motivated hate incidents reported – a rise of one from 12 months ago.

With regard to racially-motivated crimes reported, Derry City and Strabane's rate was 53 – a rise of four from last year.

The reporting of sectarian-motivated hate incidents rose from 98 to 112 while reported crimes were elevated from 68 to 89.

However, homophobic incidents and crimes being reported in the council area both went down by 16 and 14 respectively.

Rates for racially-motivated incidents and crimes reported in Belfast were the highest in the north with increases of 145 and 110 respectively.

Sectarian-motivated incidents and crimes reported had the biggest increases in Mid Ulster as they went up respectively by a further 60 and 52 reports.

Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon saw the biggest rise in homophobic incidents and crime with figures increasing respectively by 32 and 39.

The report shows that 1,231 racist incidents and 864 racist crimes have been recorded by the police over the past 12 months –an increase of 353 more racist incidents and 276 more racist crimes on the previous year.

Once again, racist hate crimes outstripped those with a sectarian motivation, which also saw a year-on-year increase. There were 1,102 sectarian incidents and 802 sectarian crimes - an increase of 233 more sectarian incidents and 174 more sectarian crimes on the previous year.

There were also a further 401 incidents and 265 crimes with a homophobic motivation - a marked increase on the previous year.

In addition to this, there were more than 248 further incidents and 190 crimes reported that had disablist, religious or transphobic motivations.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Programme Director, said: “There is no doubt that Northern Ireland is suffering a hate crime epidemic. Today’s figures paint a deeply disturbing picture of how hatred continues to grow at a pace across the entire community – regardless of age, race or religious background – and yet too little seems to be being done by the PSNI to counter it.

“On average, a racially-motivated incident or crime is reported three times each day – that’s higher than the rate of incidents motivated by sectarianism, despite the relatively small numbers of people from ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland. That means that a member of an ethnic minority community is vastly more likely to be a victim of hate crime.

“And yet, police figures expose that roughly ninety per cent of race hate crimes reported to them go unpunished. This is totally unacceptable.

“Victims urgently need a more effective response from the police, and from legislators who have left Northern Ireland’s hate crime laws lagging behind the rest of the United Kingdom.”

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