1. ITV Report

Almost eight hate crimes per day in Northern Ireland

Almost eight hate crimes take place every day in Northern Ireland, a report has stated.

The PSNI said there were 1,133 racist incidents in the past 12 months, down from the previous year but still one of the highest totals on record.

There were 324 homophobic incidents and 1,208 sectarian incidents – including five attacks on churches or chapels and 23 attacks on Orange or Apprentice Boys halls.

Amnesty International NI expressed concern at “worryingly high” levels.

Patrick Corrigan said: “Overall, there are eight hate-motivated incidents or crimes reported to the police every day in Northern Ireland.

Homophobic hate crime remains disturbingly high with figures almost identical to those of the last two years, the highest ever recorded by the police.

– Patrick Corrigan

“Three times a day there is a racism-motivated incident or crime – almost as high as the figures for incidents motivated by sectarianism, despite the relatively small numbers of people in Northern Ireland from ethnic minorities or from other countries.

“Attacks on premises such as Orange Halls have grown, an ugly trend which must be ended.”

Meanwhile, the NI Human Rights Commission has welcomed a UN report highlighting concerns regarding race discrimination here.

Les Allamby from the organisation said: “The report recognised the recent sharp increase in racist hate crimes in the UK following the EU referendum and the need to tackle racist hate crime.

The committee has also called on the UK Government to improve its human rights record in relation to Traveller accommodation in Northern Ireland.

– Les Allamby

“It has highlighted the disparity in equality protection between NI and the rest of the UK, calling for a Single Equality Bill to address this problem.

“We now need action to be taken by the Executive to tackle these important issues and improve the quality of life and experiences of people from minority ethnic backgrounds in Northern Ireland.”