Neeson calls on government to use hate crime laws

Alliance Assembly Member, Sean Neeson, has called on government to use hate crime laws to cut prejudice in Northern Ireland. His comments follow the revelation by campaigners that laws to combat prejudice may not have been used since their introduction in September 2004. It has, however, been impossible to see whether or not the laws have been used, as no records are kept on this issue.

The East Antrim Assembly member, who campaigned for the introduction of the hate crime legislation, said: “I am very disappointed at the apparent hesitation to avail of the powers.

“As a party we have written to the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice, Kit Chivers, expressing our concerns at the lack of implementation of the legislation,”

“The very fact that statistics are not being kept on this matter is very worrying.”

Sean Neeson concluded: “Racism is such a massive problem here, and the whole purpose of the legislation was to provide a severe deterrent to the escalation of hate crimes.”


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