7 Conclusion |
128. Our inquiry
has shown that hate crime is a growing problem in Northern Ireland.
We are convinced that the growth in these appalling crimes can
be arrested if the Government, the PSNI, and other criminal justice
agencies increase their efforts to eradicate it. However, if a
real impact on this problem is to be made the pace of policy and
strategy development on the part of the Government, and enforcement
on the part of the PSNI, will need to speed up. Policies need
to be 'smart': transparent, timely, and capable of having an immediate
impact 'on the ground'. Strategy is not a substitute for rigorous
practical action. Enforcement needs to be carried out with rigour.
129. More generally,
addressing the problem of hate crime requires the commitment and
dedication of many participants, the Government, the PSNI, the
victims of hate crime, the churches and many more. In addition,
each individual in Northern Ireland has a personal responsibility
to treat everyone with respect and tolerance. This is the general
standard we expect to see underpinning the policy work of the
Government and enforcement by the police to combat hate crime.
We believe that, with the full commitment of everyone, real progress
can be made in eradicating these despicable crimes from society
in Northern Ireland. We expect immediate action to be taken by
the Government and the PSNI to provide the required leadership
and vision to halt the growth of hate crime and further a peaceful
society for the minority communities of Northern Ireland.