Chief Commissioner Geraldine McGahey's statement
“We welcome today’s report by Judge Marrinan, in particular, his recommendation that hate crime legislation should be extended to cover the protected characteristics of age, to include protection for older people and young people, and gender; as well as the recommendations that the hate crime legislation protects against transphobic hate crime and hate crime experienced by intersex people. The recommendation on the need to provide additional support to victims and ensuring adequate resources for hate crime advocacy support services is also important.
It is clear that stronger measures, including reform of the hate crime legislation, are needed to tackle the persistent and growing problem of hate crime against a range of equality groups in Northern Ireland. This report will provide a useful foundation for the Department of Justice as it works to strengthen and widen protections for people subjected to these crimes.
However, hate crime law reform, whilst an important part of the framework, it is only one aspect of what needs attention. The NI Executive, the Department for Justice, the criminal justice agencies, and others need to work together on a robust, co-ordinated and effective policy response to tackling the persistent and growing problem of hate crime in Northern Ireland including working together to combat prejudicial attitudes and to promote equality and diversity.”
Geraldine McGahey, Chief Commissioner
The Commission has set out a range of associated recommendations at www.equalityni.org/HateCrimePolicy