West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Carlin welcomes PCSP meeting on Hate Crime

Published: 24 March, 2014

Monday 24 March 2014

Strabane Sinn Féin Councillor Karina Carlin has welcomed a themed PCSP Public Meeting on Hate Crime to be held in Strabane Library (Civic Room) this Thursday, beginning at 7pm, describing it as an issue that needs to be highlighted, not only to increase further community awareness about the nature and impact on victims of this form of crime, but to increasingly find ways to combat and engender a zero tolerance approach to this form of crime and from within the community.

She explained,

"We know that Hate Crime takes many different forms whether it be against people with disabilities or whether it be sectarian, homophobic or racist in nature. For the victim, it can take the form of bullying, intimidation, online threats and abuse, criminal damage to property, extending to serious physical assaults and its impact can often have devastating life-long consequences.

"Often it is children and young people who have a disability or who are perceived to be in any way different who are the targets of some of the most persistent forms of bullying and abuse and many parents, whose children who are at the receiving end of this, are keen that that this issue be brought to the fore of this debate.

"Also following on from a report produced by the Strabane LGBT Group last year highlighting the problem of homophobic attacks and isolation/marginalisation of the LGBT community, we invited them to make a presentation to Strabane District Council and following this I, and other Sinn Fein Councillors on the PCSP, secured this meeting dedicated to tackling Hate Crime.

"So I would urge everyone with an interest in equality and social justice to attend this important meeting and take part in the discussion to increasingly find ways combat this scourge of hate crime.

"We must continue to work to engender a zero tolerance approach to all attempts to victimise, isolate and attack our friends, neighbours, sons, daughters, brothers or sisters just because someone decides to single them out as an "easy target" because they are "perceived to be different.

"It is only by the community as a whole (with the support and assistance of the various state agencies) standing up and confronting such behaviour openly that we can together change behaviour and promote greater understanding and acceptance of adversity."