Northern Ireland Prosecutors Respond To Low Rate of Hate Crime Prosecutions

Victims of race-based hate crimes have been failed by the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland, according to an analysis of police data by Amnesty International’s North Ireland division earlier this year. Between 2017 and 2022, hate crimes in Northern Ireland had a lower charge rate than any other serious offenses including historically undercharged sex crimes. 

The Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland condemned hate crimes as “dreadful offenses” which damage both local communities and wider society, but Marianne O’Kane, PPS Senior Assistant Director, rejected Amnesty’s characterization that hate crimes are happening in the area with ‘virtual impunity,’ Luke Butterly reports for The Detail. “These cases present challenges and complexities for the whole criminal justice system, and the PPS works closely with our criminal justice partners including the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to prosecute them robustly where there is the evidence to do so,” she said.

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