Martin: I believe that we can build a safer, fairer, more confident community in Northern Ireland.

The Towards a Better Future conference starts today in Belfast. Writing for Slugger, the Assistant Chief Constable of the PSNI, Stephen Martin, writes about policing and hate crime

Since May 2014, we have arrested 95 people and charged 46 of them with offences linked to hate crimes in the Belfast area. This sends out a clear message that those who commit hate crimes will face consequences.

However, none of this will address the underlying causes of the hatred which we see manifested in our communities.

I believe that looking at a purely policing solution to hate crime misses the point.

In describing how the Police Service could more effectively police with the community, the Patten Report outlined a number of essential themes. One of these themes is Partnership and I believe it is key.

Such a critical issue for this region as Hate Crime deserves a joined up response from a Multi-Agency partnership with the range of skills and perspectives necessary to build a safer, more confident society which welcomes diversity.

So how do we do that?

As Mike Hardy pointed out in his Blog, we firstly need to effectively understand the problem. Support and assistance from local researchers and academics can help us get to the heart of it and understand the economic, social and cultural factors which lead to the visible outworkings of hatred.

Then we need to collectively respond. By building strong partnerships, empowered and capable to address the identified issues, we can start to make effective interventions, providing lasting solutions which increase awareness and confidence in all communities.

So how do we build these teams? I think it is significant that this Event has been hosted by the Belfast Policing and Community Safety Partnership and the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building. I believe that, under the new Local Government arrangements, PCSPs have a real opportunity to provide leadership and energy in building strong partnerships to challenge and counter intolerance and hate crimes in our communities.

This role will be supported by the advent of Community Planning. From April 2015, the new Councils will be responsible for developing a Community Plan in conjunction with partners, with a view to creating a shared vision for their area, a long term vision which relates to all aspects of community life. I strongly believe that the PCSPs can play a key role in coordinating the Community Safety element of any such Plans.

Community Planning is perhaps the primary driver for our decision to mirror the new Council boundaries. My District Commanders will be empowered to support the Council Chief Executives in developing and delivering effective Community Plans, focused on improving local service delivery and enabling real improvements in the quality of life for all communities in Northern Ireland.

I am in no doubt that effective Community Planning, if fully embraced, will help build a powerful Partnership response to the hatred that we have seen. In doing so, I believe that we can build a safer, fairer, more confident community in Northern Ireland. The PSNI is up for the challenge.

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  • Guest

    It is shameful that the Northern wing of Sinn Féin can’t even attend a Westminster committee, something Fianna Fáil, Irish Labour and Fine Gael and even some of Sinn Féin’s own Southern representatives have done, (even though they don’t stand there) to speak about an issue concerning those in the Six Counties, yet they’ll attend fancy feasts at Buckingham Palace instead.

  • guest

    “I believe that we can build a safer, fairer, more confident community in Northern Ireland”
    Not while the old guard RUC are still in charge and MI5/SRR are still running about, accountable to no one..
    This is just blather .. if its the uda/uvf doing the hate crime sure they will just be invited to stormont for tea and buns as sure well we know what peter the punt thinks..http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27906422

  • guest

    Whataboutery of the highest order. And bollox
    Are you one of these weekend war games chaps ? Get your paintball out !BRAVO ECHO TOO FIVER

  • barnshee

    A load of cack– social worker speak
    The communities have settled for separation in private and avoidance in public Get used to it.

  • Joe Canning

    Shouldn’t be too much of a problem when we get a better and fairer Police force.

  • kalista63

    The UDA are, apparently, running around North Antrim/East Derry shooting people and the best Gregory Campbell could manage was an offer of a wee natter. Would he have said the same if it was republicans?

  • guest

    If it was republicans he would be calling for aerial bombardment of the glens.. Ach sure we all know the ruc are running scared of the UDA/UVF/OO/DUP.. To many old boys in the cops. The uda might be paramilitaries but sure they are on our side.. wink wink right lads?

  • james

    I’m for that, if fair means you are not immune from criminal investigation, no matter which political party you belong to. NCA would help.

  • james

    Too many old IRA terrorists in government, I would have thought.

  • guest

    You are suggesting that the rucs softly softly approach is due to sf being voted into stormont? Please elaborate or is this just more lame whataboutery?

  • guest

    Softly softly approach to uda/uvf I mean

  • guest

    I’m for that, if fair means you are not immune from criminal investigation, no matter which unaccountable british death squad you belong to. NCA would help cover your ass..

  • Bridget O Donnell

    Democracy and equality is your Trojan Horse.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Typical NI, off topic from the start. Anyone like to discuss hate crimes perpetrated on those outside the usual green/orange categories?

  • Gaygael

    Did they not discuss all categories of hate crime?

  • guest

    Not off topic at all. Completely on point..

  • guest

    The majority of the racism we’ve seen has come from loyalist areas that are controlled by uda/uvf. The police are not able to deal with them as there is a big overlap between them the OO and the DUP/UUP and of course the top man in the ruc is old special branch..He hardly going to go after his own side now is he?

  • guest
  • Croiteir

    An while you are at it perhaps we can see those southern parties forsaking their partitionist mindset, taking part in Stormont and representing Irish people everywhere in Ireland instead of being abstentionist hurlers on the ditch.

  • Croiteir

    Or indeed criminal UDA and UVF gangs collect money from foreign drug gangs and terrorise with impunity

  • Croiteir

    Is he up for the challenge of correcting the religious imbalance of his force – 10 years after Patton gave the target of 50/50 he still stuck on 70/30

  • guest

    Loyalists were jailed right enough, the ones who wernt touting or being given free passes by the security servics to kill taigs.. Funny how all the OOBs just happen to match up with loyalists hits on catholic civilians..Havrnt see many ruc, mrf, srr, fru, 1st para doing time…….yet 😉 Plenty criminals there. Just the right sort, isnt that right Bravo?

  • guest

    Yes George.. Resign as the RUC/PSNI is an unreformed unaccountable service thats not fit for purpose and needs disbanded..

  • guest

    You just read it. Ah well, there are none so blind and all that..

  • guest

    The ones that worked with the so called security services got a free run… those that wernt useful got nailed…
    But you know that of course, right ?

  • Cue Bono

    Strange that the Glenanne gang got nailed then.

  • guest

    Yup nailed the footsoldiers as the trail was leading to higher up.. Plenty other “glenanne gangs” out there never seen a cell..just golden handshakes and cushy jobs on the lecture circuit