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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019

Anti-racism hotline needed to make sure 'complaints are taken seriously'

The Immigrant Council of Ireland is calling for one to be set up to ensure victims of these crimes come forward.

Image: phone via Shutterstock

Updated 9.11am

A HOTLINE TO allow members of the public to report incidents of racism is needed to “reassure victims” that gardaí will take complaints seriously, the Immigrant Council of Ireland has said.

The call for one to be set up by gardaí comes after the latest hate crime figures from the PSNI continue to show a discrepancy in the number of incidents of racism reported north and south of the border.

In 2009, 1038 incidents were recorded the PSNI, compared to 128 by Gardaí.

Racism incidents were up 232 to 981 last year in Northern Ireland.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland’s own reporting system recorded 144 incidents last year, with another 103 since the start of this year.

“We have lagged behind Northern Ireland in tackling racism for too long,” Chief Executive Denise Charlton said, noting that both a hotline and an online system to report these crimes is offered by the PSNI.

It is not acceptable that victims are suffering in silence –often lying awake in bed at night fearing a brick through the window, graffiti or avoiding trips to the local shop because of the fear of abuse being shouted at them.

She said the PSNI’s figures again raise questions about the systems in place in the South.

Originally published 8.24am

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Nicky Ryan

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