Belfast Telegraph

PSNI welcomes fall in hate crimes

Recorded incidents of hate crime have fallen in Northern Ireland, new figures show.

The PSNI logged 898 cases in 2010, down from 1,052 the previous year, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said.

The figures released yesterday did not include sectarian crimes - they were recorded at 995 last year, which was down from 1,264.

Officers welcomed the fall, pointing to a string of initiatives aimed at minority groups, but admitted that there was still much more to be done.

Most categories of hate crime saw a fall in incidents, apart from homophobic attacks, which jumped from 94 to 157.

The biggest drop was in race-related crime, where 641 offences were recorded by police, down from 792 the previous year.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police welcome this report by ACPO and it highlights that progress is being made.

"Local officers are working hard with various community and voluntary groups to help build confidence within minority ethnic groups to ensure that those who have been the victims of crime will report those crimes to police."

Stephen Otter, equality officer for ACPO, said: "We are determined to reduce the harm caused by hate crime and as a service we have listened to victims' groups who have told us that by publishing this data, confidence in the police and the wider criminal justice system would be improved."

Factfile

The Association of Chief Police Officers distinguishes between a hate incident and a hate crime. A hate incident is: "Any incident which may or may not constitute a criminal offence." A hate crime is defined as: "Any hate incident which constitutes a criminal offence." Domestic violence can be a hate crime.

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