Hate crimes

Following the publication of the latest quarterly statistics relating to incidents and crimes motivated by hate, agendaNi reviews the findings.

The PSNI’s quarterly bulleting presents the most recent statistics relating to incidents and crimes with a hate motivation recorded by the PSNI to 30 September 2015. The PSNI has adopted the definition for racially motivated incidents recommended by the Stephen Lawrence enquiry. The enquiry defined racist incidents as ‘any incident, which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.’ The police also use the principle of this definition to record all types of hate incidents such as: racist incidents, homophobic incidents, sectarian incidents, faith/religious incidents, disability incidents and transphobic incidents.

Racist motivation

The level of racist incidents and crimes have increased each year from 2011/12 to 2014/15. The number of racist incidents and crimes recorded in the last 12 months to September 2015 (1,279 incidents and 888 crimes) is showing a decrease compared with the financial year 2014/15.

Racist incidents have increased marginally in the last 12 months to September 2015 compared with the previous 12 months (up by seven incidents from 1,272 to 1,279) whilst racist crimes have decreased by 23 from 911 to 888. The trends in racist incidents and crimes for the latest 12 months have shown higher levels in both incidents and crimes in comparison to the previous 12 months, for six out of the 12 months. Since the beginning of the current financial year, racist incidents and crimes have been generally lower compared to the same months in the previous financial year.

Homophobic motivation

Since 2006/07 homophobic motivated incidents have generally increased year on year. The figures for the 12 months to September 2015 (339 incidents and 212 crimes) are showing an increase of five incidents and three crimes on the 2014/15 levels and are the highest levels recorded since the data series began in 2004/05.

In the 12 months to 30 September 2015, there were 339 incidents recorded where there was homophobic motivation. Of these 339 incidents, there were 148 which did not contain a crime. The remaining 191 incidents contained one or more crimes (amounting to 212 recorded crimes in total).

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