Vital we renew efforts to address hate crimes, says Blair

It is vital we renew efforts to address hate crimes in Northern Ireland, Alliance MLA John Blair has said.

Mr Blair, Alliance’s representative on the Policing Board, was speaking at the launch of Hate Crime Awareness Week in Mossley Mill. He said out of recent hate crime statistics, most concerning was the rise in racist incidents.

“There is cause for concern with the latest figures, with incidents of racially-motivated crime going up 11.4 per cent in the calendar year of 2018,” he said.

“It shows the pressing need for hate crime legislation in Northern Ireland. A consultation into the issue is expected to be launched in January and I would encourage everyone to participate in it when it is.

“It is vital we renew efforts to address hate crimes, to enable people to live safely in society. The PSNI do excellent outreach work on the issue but more could always be done through structures such as PCSPs and the Policing Board, to make sure we all play our role in keeping people safe.”

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