PSNI records highest number of racist hate incidents since records began 20 years ago

The number of hate incidents against ethnic minority groups in Northern Ireland is the highest since records began 20 years ago.

PSNI figures have revealed there were 1353 reports between April 2023 and March 2024, that's 132 more incidents compared to the previous year.

In a geographic breakdown of the figures, Belfast recorded almost half of the total race incidents.

An Indian couple living in north Belfast have told UTV that they now live in fear after their car windows were smashed in last week.

The health workers, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We've never found anyone showing any kind of such hatred or racism to our face but this was really shocking and disappointing when we came to know that this was a targeted crime."

Ana Chandran, who represents the Belfast Asian Women's Academy, said: "We've come here to work, we contribute to society, we pay tax. This is our home and we are just like everyone else, we are equal. The only difference is our skin colour."

North Belfast MP John Finucane visited the couple in their north Belfast home to give reassurance that they would be supported.

"There is a response that is needed from the police, I think there's a response that's needed from our health trusts so that they know their workers are valued but this is a societal issue, so we all must make sure that we stamp this out, we face this down at every opportunity," said Mr Finucane.

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