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Gardaí urge victims of racism and hate crimes to speak to them

A report yesterday harshly criticised gardaí for their response to racism but the organisation said it does have systems in place and is working to improve.

Gardaí at a Residents Against Racism Demonstration in 2010.
Gardaí at a Residents Against Racism Demonstration in 2010.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

GARDAÍ HAVE URGED any member of the public in Ireland who has been the victim of racism or hate crimes to bring it to them.

A report from ENAR Ireland yesterday was critical of An Garda Síochána, claiming many people who have reported racist incidents have received a negative response from gardaí and that is why reporting levels are so low.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, An Garda Síochána said the force has been working closesly with minority communities and individuals for over ten years through its Garda Racial Intercultural Diversity Office (GRIDO) and pointed out that it is one of the few police forces in the world with a dedicated unit.

They said this unit works with people on a daily basis to ensure that they “feel they can turn us to when they are at their most vulnerable”.

An Garda Síochána would urge anyone who has been a victim of a racist or hate crime to inform us so that it can be thoroughly investigated. We know that this is not an easy thing to do, but that is why we have specially trained gardaí who help make it easier for victims of such crimes to report by, for example, visiting their homes in plain clothes.

Recently, interim Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan launched a Roma integration programme in Garda HQ which will see officers trained on Roma culture. The course will be delivered in part by members of the Roma community.

Read: This word cloud shows how racism in Ireland makes victims feel>

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