Justice Minister David Ford has met the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM), including its Chief Executive, Patrick Yu, to discuss the impact of hate crime and the recent upsurge in attacks motivated by hate.
David Ford said: “I welcome the opportunity to hear directly from the Council for Ethnic Minorities about the impact hate crime has on the people it represents – people who make a valuable contribution to our society but often feel vulnerable and isolated.
“I wanted to update the Council on the work my Department is leading on as we deliver the hate crime commitments in the Community Safety Strategy.”
Mr Ford added: “During Question Time in the Assembly on Tuesday, I re-iterated my position that we all need to be much more aware of the impact of hate crime. As we have seen in recent weeks, there is a clear need to deal with a wider problem within our society where a small number of people do not appear to accept the implications of their language or actions on others.
“This is a problem extending beyond the criminal justice system. Hate crime will only be tackled when the causes are addressed and diversity is recognised and welcomed by all.
“Over the last two weekends several thousand people have taken to our streets to let the perpetrators of hate crime know that their negative attitudes and behaviours cannot be tolerated.
“I am committed to do all I can to support those who suffer from intolerance and to bring to justice those who engage in hate crime.”]]>