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2023 Hate Crime Data and Related Discriminatory Motives

  • 12% increase in the number of hate crimes and hate related (non-crime) incidents reported to An Garda Síochána compared to 2022
  • 651 hate crimes and hate related (non-crime) incidents recorded in 2023 (582 in 2022)
  • 548 hate crimes (510 in 2022)
  • 103 hate related (non-crime) incidents (72 in 2022)

An Garda Síochána has today published figures on Hate Crimes and Hate Related (non-crime) Incidents reported during 2023. This is the third such publication having previously published figures in 2021 and 2022.

As outlined in the Garda Diversity and Integration Strategy, "Reports of Hate Crimes or Hate Incidents will be recorded and investigated as appropriate, where it is perceived that the perpetrator’s hostility or prejudice against any person, community or institution is on the grounds of the victim’s age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender”.

Incidents were recorded across all nine of these discriminatory motives.

As some incidents have more than one discriminatory motive, 696 discriminatory motives were recorded last year. This is up from 617 in 2022 and 483 in 2021.

The most prevalent discriminatory motive was anti-race (36%), followed by anti-nationality (18%) and anti-sexual orientation (16%). These three motives have been the most common across in the past three years, however, anti-nationality overtook anti-sexual orientation to become the second most prevalent motive in 2023.

Once again during 2023, hate motives were evident in a variety of reported crime incident types. The largest percentage being recorded in public order (27%), minor assaults (16%) and criminal damage not by fire (9%) and criminal damage by fire (3%).

As was the case during 2022, the largest proportion (44%) of hate related incidents occurred in the Dublin Metropolitan Region. The three other operational regions recorded north-western (21%) southern (19%) and eastern (16%).

An Garda Síochána continues to strengthen its network of diversity officers to support victims and those affected by hate discrimination in communities around Ireland. At present there are over 500 Garda Diversity Officers working across the country who engage with minority communities and individuals on a daily basis to provide them with re-assurance and address issues of concern for them.

In collaboration with the University of Limerick, An Garda Síochána has continued to encourage and facilitate Garda personnel to undertake a certificate programme in human rights and policing in Ireland.  By the beginning of 2024, over 3,000 Garda personnel at all ranks and grades had undertaken this course with another 1,000 scheduled to take it during 2024. The course has also been undertaken by personnel from the FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, the Belgian Federal Police and Tanzanian Police.

Welcoming the publication of the 2023 statistics, Chief Superintendent, Community Engagement, Padraic Jones said, "These figures indicate a further increase in the reporting of hate crime in Ireland during 2023. In one sense it is positive that victims are coming forward and speaking with An Garda Síochána about their experience of a crime motivated by hate, but it is disappointing that incidents of this nature occur at all.

"Being targeted because of a characteristic has an enormous and often life-altering impact on a victim, and as a society we must continue to reject hate and discrimination. Everyone has a right to live safely.

"I want to thank all those that support people of all ages and backgrounds who could be vulnerable to this crime, particularly those working in community based groups, schools, clubs and the voluntary sector who consistently demonstrate to people to live without prejudice toward one another.

"I strongly encourage anyone that has experienced or observed prejudice to please come forward and report those incidents to us.

"I can assure you that we will deal with it professionally and provide our support in any way we can.”

An Garda Síochána would ask civil society and non-governmental groups who have not already done so to subscribe to the third party referral process. This will have the benefit of further increasing reporting of hate crime to An Garda Síochána.

Case studies:

1. While out walking on a street in Dublin, a male was verbally abused with homophobic slurs and assaulted by a group. Charges are currently pending before the Circuit Court.

2. A person working in a Post Office in the northwest region contacted An Garda Síochána to report that a male was racially abusing a member of staff. This male aged in his 30s has since been convicted in the District Court and received a two-month suspended sentence.

3. A victim in the southern region was threatened with a knife and he was verbally abused with homophobic slurs. One man in his 40s was later convicted and sentenced to 14 days imprisonment.

4. A couple walking through a town in the northwest region were subjected to racial abuse by a male in his 30s. He was arrested and later convicted at District Court where he received a €350 fine.

5. Gardaí were alerted to a woman being verbally abusive towards a security guard working in a supermarket in the south east. She also spat at him. The woman, aged in her 30s was convicted by the District Court and was fined €100.

6. Those working in a shop in Dublin called Gardaí to report that an intoxicated person had entered the premises and was directing racist abuse towards them. One man in his 50s was convicted and received the probation act.

7. A large group of youths had gathered at a public area in the northwest region where one of them was observed shouting racial slurs towards another member of the public. This young person was later identified by Gardaí and was referred to the Garda Youth Diversion Programme.

8. A woman in the northwest region reported being verbally abused by another female in relation to her clothing. Gardaí identified the woman (70s) and she received an adult caution.

Useful links:

An Garda Síochána Hate Crime Policy
Online Hate Crime Reporting Service
Garda National Diversity and Integration Unit