The Northern Ireland Affairs committee in Westminster continues its formal hearing of evidence from the office of the first and deputy first minister, NIACRO, NICVA and the Community Relations Council in Belfast yesterday. But they are also taking evidence online at tellparliament.net.Responses to hate crime
“Many gay people do not report ‘low level’ homophobic attacks because they think nothing will be done, for fear of incurring more prejudice from the police and authorities, and for fear of attracting more attention to themselves. The Housing Executive needs to treat people who have been made homeless through hate crime as high priority for re-housing.”
“Parades Commission, promotes culture of antagonism towards the Unionist Community – recent decisons have promoted a climate of fear, where many have died as a result of violence, if the Government and parliment are serious about building peace, they must abolish this one sided body.”
“More mainstream approach that can be delivered at all levels and built upon incrementally as a child progresses through their school years. This could be achieved if some kind of outreach facility could be developed. In 70s/80s road safety workshops visited schools to spread the message of the green cross code – could something similar be developed to introduce other cultural identities to children?”
Here’s a few examples of what they’ve picked up so far.
The law on hate crime
“The proposed law on hate crime is welcome but the minister muddied the waters when he laid before Parliament combined proposals to address hate and car crime, as if they could be lumped together in a generic ‘law and order’ rhetoric. The legislation should apply to this subject only, so that a clear message is sent out from government.”
Incidence of racist, sectarian and homophobic crime
“NI is a narrow minded and intolerant place to live. We have generations of working class in areas afflicted by paramilitaries and that culture now they turn against others different from themselves. Racist crime is an easy target for them, colour is obvious to them and the gay community are easy targets too. actions/words which create fear in another based on their racial /sexual orientation need to be actioned and classified”.
If you have something to add or contend, then get yourself registered at the discussion site. At the end of the consultation, the input from all the participants will be fed directly into the Committee’s official inquiry.
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Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty