Rise in Hate Crime Requires Robust Response

The stats released today by An Garda Síochána show that hate crimes have increased by 30% over the last 12 months. This worrying rise requires a robust response. For the second year in a row, LGBTQI+ people were the second most targeted cohort after racist attacks. The total number of hate crimes and related incidents in 2022 was 582.

Pádraig Rice, Policy and Research Manager with LGBT Ireland, said:

“The figures released today should be a wakeup call for the Government and An Garda Síochána. We urgently need to see the introduction of robust hate crime legislation. Beyond the bill, we must see enhanced training for Gardai, improved reporting, better monitoring and data collection and new victim supports. Ultimately, we must see hate crimes prevented and reduced through better policing, education, and awareness raising. We are calling on the Government to respond to these figures with a holistic and effective response.”

“The social media platforms also have questions to answer. It’s becoming increasingly clear that online hate and abuse is spilling over into real life. Facebook and Twitter, in particular, need to step up and stop allowing their sites to be used by people who abuse others. We also need to have a serious conversation about the nameless and faceless accounts that do and say as they please online. Everyone should feel safe and respected on and offline.

“Hate crimes can have a long-lasting impact on victims. They can also have a significant impact on the wider community that share the characteristic that was targeted. In short, hate crimes hurt us all. To help reduce this impact, LGBTQI+ organisations from across the country are working with An Garda Síochána to enhance victim supports. Organisations are now able to report a crime on the victim’s behalf through a new third-party referral system. If someone decides not to report the crime, we are still here to help. LGBTQI+ organisations can provide a range of supports to anyone who has been affected by a hate crime, and we encourage people to get in touch with us through the National LGBT Helpline on 1800 929 539 or by contacting their local LGBTQI+ service.”

Kate Moynihan, the Coordinator of LINC said:

“Hate crimes continues to rise in Ireland and until the urgency of the situation is taken seriously by both the Government and the Gardai, it will continue to do so. The LGBTQI+ community has historically borne the brunt of prejudice and hate. The positive changes we have seen in recent years will be eroded by this failure to make a concerted effort to tackle the situation.”

Anna Nolan, Chair of the NXF, said:

“These alarming figures only confirm what our LGBTQI+ community have been reporting to us for quite some time now, namely a sharp rise in often violent hate attacks. We need concerted and targeted actions to tackle hate crimes as well as confidence-building measures to address the chronic under-reporting of anti-LGBTQI+ hate crimes.  We also need to finally start holding online platforms to account for the proliferation of hateful and extremist disinformation, which, as we can see, is having direct, real-world consequences.”

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