South Belfast Alliance Councillor Tom Ekin has criticised the Government for stalling over new legislation to deal with Hate Crimes, despite the PSNI’s revelation that racist incidents have surged by 60 percent in the last year, and homophobic attacks doubling.
Councillor Ekin, who is also chairman of Belfast City Council’s Good Relations Committee, said: “These massive increases in Hate Crimes only represent the tip of the iceberg, as they often go unreported. Yet despite this surge in crime against ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians, the Government is still delaying Hate Crimes legislation for Northern Ireland.
“New laws were promised in the Joint Declaration last April, following over three years of lobbying by Alliance. Do we always have to get to a crisis point in politics before something is done?
“While the police have prioritised dealing with Hate Crimes this year, sadly there have been very few convictions. Actions speak louder than words, and the new legislation will only be seen to be effective if the perpetrators are actually caught and brought to justice. The fact that this is not happening at the moment is concerning.”