Northern Ireland news

Event held to raise awareness of hate crime held in Co Antrim

National Hate Crime Awareness Week runs from October 12 to 19

AN event to raise awareness of hate crime and highlight initiatives in Northern Ireland to "promote inclusivity and support victims" was launched in Co Antrim yesterday.

The PSNI, to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week, joined forces with several other agencies to examine the projects being used to tackle hate crime across the north.

The event at Mossley Mill in Newtownabbey, hosted by Antrim and Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership, saw performances by students from Lagan College depicting typical hate crimes and incidents.

There was also a panel discussion from police, Rainbow Project, Victim Support NI, Leonard Cheshire NI and Migrant Centre NI.

The victim of the hate crime is recorded as a person to whom hostility or prejudice is displayed under race, homophobia (sexual orientation), sectarianism, faith/religion (non-sectarian), disability or transphobia.

The most recent PSNI statistics reveal there were 1,607 hate crimes recorded from July 2018 to June 2019 - an increase of 167 crimes recorded in the previous year.

PSNI chief superintendent Emma Bond said there are "excellent partnership initiatives that are being used in districts to encourage reporting and support victims".

"While we know that many hate crimes and incidents go unreported, we must also take the time to recognise the significant work that takes place, not just during key dates like this, but every day to ensure that everyone's human rights are respected and that victims are being supported."

Emma Barronwell from Victim Support NI added: "There is no place for hate in Northern Ireland.

"We want all victims of hate crime to know that they are not alone and that support is available immediately after an incident or at any stage."

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