Alamy Stock Photo
Hate crime stats

Almost 450 hate crimes and related incidents recorded across Ireland last year

A report from the Garda showed there were 389 hate crimes and 59 hate related incidents in 2021.

ALMOST 450 HATE crimes and hate-related incidents were recorded across the country last year, data shows.

The Garda’s latest hate crime figures found there were 389 hate crimes and 59 hate-related incidents last year.

Some 483 discriminatory motives were recorded in the data as some incidents had more than one motive.

Hate motives were evident in a range of crimes, the largest percentage being public order (35%), minor assaults (18%) and criminal damage (11%).

Race was the most prevalent discriminatory motive at 44%, following by sexual orientation at 15% and nationality at 14%.

Half of all the hate-related incidents in the country last year occurred in the Dublin Metropolitan Region.

The proportions of incidents across the other three operational regions were quite similar with Southern Region at 19%, North-Western Region at 16% and Eastern Region at 15%.

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman said: “Everyone has a right to live safely. Hate crimes have a huge impact on victims, because they are targeted because of who they are, and they also have a significant impact on the wider community.”

She appealed for people to report any hate crimes to the Garda.

“I urge any person who has experienced or observed prejudice to come forward and report those incidents to us,” she said.

“I can assure people that complaints will be dealt with thoroughly and professionally.”

The figures released on Friday are the first following the introduction of new recording procedures for hate crimes, under the Garda Diversity and Integration Strategy.

The changes created a new baseline to be used from 2021 onwards.

Assistant Commissioner Hilman said the definitions and recording practices introduced in late 2020 have enabled gardai to gain “greater insight into these discriminatory motives and respond accordingly”.

A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender.

A hate-related incident is any non-crime, hate-related incident.

The Garda said it is important to capture, where reported, non-crime incidents to provide further evidence of the prevalence of issues within communities and to facilitate an appropriate Garda response.

Due to the recording changes, last year’s figures are not directly comparable to the date previously recorded.

In 2019, the last complete year prior to the introduction of the changes, there were 251 crimes with a hate motive recorded, a notable reduction on the 339 hate crimes recorded in 2018.

Under the previous recording practices, any one of 11 specific hate motives could be recorded on crime incidents. Non-crime hate incidents were not captured at that time.

Press Association