Northern Ireland news

Hate crimes in Northern Ireland have fallen after Brexit

Superintendent Paula Hilman. Picture by Mal McCann
Brendan Hughes

HATE crimes reported in Northern Ireland have fallen in the wake of Brexit - bucking the trend seen in Britain.

The PSNI said 31 racist hate incidents were reported in the week after the EU referendum, a 34 per cent drop on the same period last year.

It comes in contrast to a sharp rise in reported hate crimes shown in figures compiled by the National Police Chiefs' Council.

More than 3,000 hate crimes and incidents were reported across England, Wales and Northern Ireland from June 16-30 this year - a 42 per cent increase on the same period in 2015.

There have been concerns of a rise in hate crime in Britain in the wake of the referendum vote last month to leave the European Union.

Numerous incidents have also been reported in Northern Ireland, including a Palestinian nurse in Belfast who said he was told to "get the f*** out of our country".

Superintendent Paula Hilman said the PSNI was continuing to liaise with the National Police Chiefs' Council about the police response following the Brexit vote.

"Northern Ireland like some other regions in England and Wales is not seeing an increase in reporting that some regions have seen," she said.

"We do, however, very much recognise the impact the hate crime reports and recent media coverage can have in terms of rising tensions and potential fear in communities."

She also encouraged "greater reporting of hate crimes and incidents where these have happened, as we recognise that hate crime is under reported".

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news