Rise in race hate crimes reinforces need for new Race Relations Strategy, says Alliance TEO representatives

Alliance spokespeople for the Executive Office have warned that the reported rise in race hate incidents in Northern Ireland during 2023/4 reinforces the urgency of implementing a new Race Relations Strategy and updated legislation.

Paula Bradshaw Connie Egan TEO

They were speaking after figures were released by the PSNI and the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) in a recent report.
South Belfast MLA Paula Bradshaw, who chairs the Executive Office Committee at Stormont, has said: “PSNI figures, which show an overall reduction in crime but a rise in race hate incidents, demonstrate how important it is that the First Minister and deputy First Minister get on with the tasks which fall to them, not least the publication and implementation of a new Race Relations Strategy.
“More than 100 days since restoration, the time for demonstrating delivery in such areas has arrived. Our policies and legislation in this area are outdated, and there are practical consequences that evidently arise from that.”
North Down MLA Connie Egan, Committee Vice Chair, added: “Incidents of race hate have exceeded sectarian-motivated crime for nearly a decade now, during which time our existing Race Relations Strategy has not been fully implemented and the need for a new one has become more and more evident.
“That fact is that ultimately prevention is better than a cure. With improved policy and legislation delivering improved relations, we can decrease the number of race hate incidents occurring in the first place. That is clearly an urgent challenge.”