Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Sport in bid to tackle hate crime

Lord Mayor Pat Convery will host the third annual hate crime conference at City Hall in Belfast
Lord Mayor Pat Convery will host the third annual hate crime conference at City Hall in Belfast

Sport and drama's role in tackling hate crime in Northern Ireland will be explored in Belfast.

The third annual hate crime conference at City Hall will also examine how children's playtime can also be used to promote tolerance.

Lord Mayor Pat Convery will host the event which will bring together community, voluntary and statutory organisations.

Its aim is to provide an opportunity to share best practice and develop new ideas to tackle all aspects of the crime, including sectarianism, racism and homophobia.

"As Lord Mayor of Belfast I feel it's important to acknowledge all the hard work that is going on to tackle hate crime in our city," said councillor Convery.

"Belfast is a growing, vibrant city and not only is it attracting tourists, it's also attracting people from different ethnic backgrounds who want to make this great city their home.

"Through working together with our partners and various agencies we've learnt that to tackle hate crime, we must get to the root of the problem.

"Belfast has seen many changes over the last few years and we are still in a period of transition. Change can make people uneasy and fearful, which can so often be a catalyst in hate crime-related incidents. I believe it is our responsibility to help manage that change, and promote understanding and acceptance among communities."

With its partners, the council has developed a draft strategy outlining key priorities for tackling hate crime.

It is also helping to fund a number of initiatives, including a project promoting tolerance through sport at Midland Tigers Bay Boxing Club and the development of a series of hate crime-related plays to be delivered by Tinderbox Theatre Company.

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