Tag Archives: Hate crime

A message on a wall in the Belvoir area of south Belfast spotted on Saturday morning has since been painted over

This morning.

The PSNI are treating graffiti on a Belfast wall about Tanaiste Leo Varadkar ‘not to cross the border’ as a hate crime.

Via The Irish News:

Northern ireland First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted: “Violence or the threat of violence has no place in democracy. I condemn those behind this.

“The NI Protocol needs replaced but violence or its threat will not achieve the change Northern Ireland needs.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said she was “shocked at the disgusting graffiti targeting Leo Varadkar which I condemn, as will the majority of people across the community.

“This is a hate crime motivated by prejudice,” she said.

“It’s also criminal damage and anyone with information should contact police who must investigate.”

Police treat threatening Leo Varadkar graffiti as hate crime (Irish News)

Earlier: Derek Mooney: May May Have Learned From Last Week’s Mistakes

Meanwhile…

Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, outside Government Buildings today as she published the findings of the hate crime public consultation, which was carried out by the Department of Justice

This morning.

Leinster House, Dublin 2.

Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee launched consultation document Legislating for Hate Speech and Hate Crime in Ireland Report. A new law will cover both incitement to hatred and hate crime

To wit:

‘…The new hate crime offences will be aggravated versions of existing crimes, for example offences against the person, criminal damage or public order offences, where they are carried out because of prejudice against a protected characteristic.

Creating these new offences will mean that a crime can be investigated as a potential hate crime by Gardaí, and evidence of the hate element can be presented in court.

Where the jury finds that the crime was a hate crime based on the evidence, and convicts the person of a hate crime, the enhanced penalty for the new offence will available to the judge at sentencing. Where the jury finds that the hate element is not proven, they will still be able to convict the person of the ordinary form of the offence…’

Minister McEntee said:

“Regarding the fundamental constitutional right of freedom of expression, I want to assure people that this legislation will be proportionate, specific, and clear, with offences capable of being proven beyond reasonable doubt. There will be no confusion as to what constitutes criminal hate speech.”

Hmm.

Legislating for Hate Speech and Hate Crime in Ireland Report

Sam Boal/RollingNews

Warning on 4Chan (above) and the damaged window of Panti Bar (top) after a brick duct taped with the Irish words for ‘Fairies Out Of Ireland’ was thrown through it last Friday

Further to last Friday’s brick-throwing at Panti Bar, on Capel Street, Dublin 1…

The pride-less lout provided real-time commentary on 4Chan.

Aaron Rogan and Ellen Coyne, of The Times Ireland edition, report:

An analysis of the 4chan website by Storyful…found that a person appeared to have been updating other users of the incident before it happened.

….Another poster posed the possibility of getting caught, to which the first poster replied: “Gardaí are about so that’s a possibility but I’m on a bike and can outspeed the ones on foot plus bouncers”.

At 11.03pm they wrote: “Fag herd at door has thinned taking my chance.” They told other posters to look for them in the papers. One replied “hope you end up in prison” and another said “god speed”.

Anonymous posts linked to brick attack on gay bar (Aaron Rogan and Ellen Coyne, Times Ireland edition)

4Chan Thread

Previously: Pride Me Sideways

Pics: Ultan Mashup and Panti Bliss

Meanwhile…

All better.

Panti Bar yesterday.

Thanks Ultan Mashup

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 12.41.30

A still from a PSNI video as part of a campaign to raise awareness about hate crimes

The Police Service of Northern Ireland PSNI has launched a new campaign to highlight hate crimes.

They have released a series of 30-second videos, narrated by victims describing their own personal experiences.

Among them is Broadsheet contributor Shayna O’Neil, who is undergoing gender reassignment.

Shayna was asked to take part in the campaign after being assaulted and driven from her home in Tyrone.

Shayna writes:

Hate crime encompasses race, religion, sectarianism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and disabled-phobia.

I have to say that I wasn’t aware that disabled-phobia was a ‘thing’ – and frankly shocked that it exists, but apparently it does and the PSNI recorded 134 incidents of disability hate crime in the last financial year.

An instance of a sustained regime of attacks against a wheelchair-bound gentleman in West Belfast will feature in the series.

Following Brexit, it appears that a growing number of incidents of race hate crime in England have been reported. Fortunately, this has not been the case in Northern Ireland but this is a timely pro-active campaign by the PSNI.

The first video to be released was designed to coincide with the launch of the Belfast Pride Festival.

The message is designed to encourage people to think about the impact hate crime incidents have on the victim and the long-lasting physiological and emotional damage it can cause.

Superintendent Paula Hilman who is the PSNI Silver lead for hate crime said she hoped the campaign would help encourage not just victims but the wider community to report incidents of hate crime to PSNI.

Supt Hilman told me:

“We know that hate crime is an under reported crime and, as a result, we need to ensure victims have the confidence to report these incidents. We also hope that by sharing the voices of victims that we will encourage people to think about the human impact of these wholly unjustified and unacceptable attacks. There is a collective responsibility on all parts of society to protect vulnerable communities and we would encourage to report concerns or suspicious activity to the police. We need this information from communities to support arrests and make subsequent prosecutions and put an end to all forms of hate crime.”

I can only comment on my own experience and admit to being entirely tentative about contacting the PSNI following my assault.

In fact, it was three days after the incident that I finally reported it. The officers who dealt with me were sympathetic and importantly, respectful of me. They encouraged me to pursue the case to court.

The assault took place in my local store at lunchtime one Sunday. The store was very busy, but apparently with a shop full of witnesses, no-one saw anything? The whole scene was caught on the store’s CCTV, which ensured a conviction of my attacker.

Interestingly, on the day of my court case, the defendant had pleaded, “not guilty”, under advisement of his brief, in the hope that I would feel too intimidated to make an appearance – in which instance, the case would be dismissed.

The PSNI sent a car for me, to take me to court, and I was accompanied by the investigating officer. Clearly, the news of my arrival had filtered down to my attacker’s barrister, and he changed his plea to “guilty”.

I didn’t have to give testimony. He (my attacker) received a three-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £100 compensation.

I’m not advocating for the PSNI, merely sharing my own positive experience on how they deal with hate crime. They do take it seriously. Victim, or witness to a hate crime – it should be reported.

Hate crime reporting (PSNI)

Update: