Complaints failure plays into hands of racists

One of the failings of our systems for recording crime highlighted in the Garda Inspectorate Report (Irish Examiner, November 12) is the failure to accurately reflect levels of racism and hate crime.

Complaints failure plays into hands of racists

The report notes that ‘during inspection visits the Inspectorate asked gardaí of all ranks about investigating racist and homophobic crimes and not one Garda reported that they had ever recorded such a crime or investigated an offence’.

Last year we produced figures which show that the levels of racism reported to the PSNI were 700% higher than those recorded by gardaí. The gap is so wide that clearly something is wrong.

Failure to record an accurate picture of levels of racism not only inadvertently sends a message to victims that if they come forward their complaints will not be taken seriously, but also prevents an evidence-based approach to future policy.

It is worth noting that through our own reporting systems the Immigrant Council of Ireland recorded an 85% increase in cases last year, while year to date figures for 2014 show a further increase of 55%.

Denise Charlton

Chief Executive

Immigrant Council of Ireland

2 Andrew St

Dublin 2

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