Issue Date: 21/07/2021
• Launching 21 July 2021 on www.garda.ie
• All reports will be examined by dedicated members of GNDIU
• An Garda Síochána Diversity and Integration Strategy 2019-2021 expected to achieve all objectives
An Garda Síochána launched the Garda Síochána Diversity and Integration Strategy, 2019 – 2021 in October 2019. The strategy has a significant focus on enhancing the identification, reporting, recording and investigating of Hate Crimes. It contains a working Hate Crime definition in line with best international practice, recognises the current and emerging diversity of our communities and aims to protect all diverse and minority groups in society.
In line with An Garda Síochána’s strategic commitments, the Garda National Diversity and Integration Unit, in conjunction with its Garda partners, have designed and developed a new, non-emergency online Hate Crime reporting mechanism which will be accessed via www.garda.ie. Hate Crime can be reported to An Garda Síochána in a safe and secure way and will allow for the appropriate response and support to be provided. This service will provide increased accessibility to the Garda Service, particularly for victims of Hate Crime who may have previously been reluctant to report to An Garda Síochána. All reports will be examined by dedicated members of the GNDIU, who will ensure appropriate action is taken to record and respond to reports.
Speaking today, Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement said:
"Access to online reporting enables victims to report hate crime in a way they may feel more comfortable with. We understand that not everyone wants to go to a Garda station to make reports. This facility gives victims the opportunity to report non-emergency incidents to An Garda Síochána. I would urge anyone who feels they have been a victim of hate crime to report it to us. Let’s stop hate crime together.
"The impact that Hate Crime can have on individual victims, their families, the groups to which they belong and wider society can be devastating. Although diversity and integration touches on many different areas in relation to policing, the manner in which An Garda Síochána challenges the prevalence of Hate Crime in our society can be seen as reflective of our commitment and ability to protect the rights of those from diverse or minority communities. The launch of our online Hate Crime reporting facility will improve accessibility of our services to victims, promotes our positive obligations under Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Act, 2014 and supports our mission of Keeping People Safe. Let’s stop hate together.”
Superintendent Michael Corbett, of the Garda National Community Engagement Bureau added: "Hate crime is significantly under reported in Ireland, don’t suffer in silence, if you have been the victim of a hate crime please report it to An Garda Siochana , we are here to help you. Let’s stop hate together”
Speaking today Ms Paula Fagan, CEO of LBGT Ireland and member of the Garda National Diversity Forum said: "I am delighted to join An Garda Siochana today to support the launch of their online hate crime reporting function. This is a very welcome support to the victims of hate crime and the wider community. Let’s stop hate together”
Mr. Dami Babade who reported an incident of a hate crime related assault to An Garda Siochana shared that: "As a victim of hate crime assault I know the importance of reporting to the Gardaí. I’m delighted to support the launch of an online system for reporting it. We need to work together to tackle Hate Crime”.
AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA DIVERSITY AND INTEGRATION STRATEGY 2019-2021
To ensure inclusion of the policing needs of all diverse / minority group Diversity Consultation Days were held during 2018 / 2019. Submissions were invited from all stakeholder groups for inclusion in the Garda Diversity and Integration Strategy 2019-2021. Representatives from all diverse, minority and ethnic groups contributed and attended the launch of the Strategy in October 2019 in Balbriggan Community Centre. The Strategy includes working definitions for Hate Crime and Hate Incidents.
The Strategy is currently being implemented and is in line to achieve all objectives by Q4 2021. These include:
1. PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY: Protect the safety, wellbeing and rights of all, particularly minority and marginalised communities and vulnerable individuals.
DATA: Ensure the most effective and accurate management of data on Hate Crime in a safe, secure and legal manner, whilst respecting the privacy and rights of all persons.
2. OUR PEOPLE: Develop the skills and environment needed to ensure equality, Diversity, integration and human rights in all aspects of operational policing.
3. PARTNERSHIP: Engage with internal and external stakeholders in a proactive and inclusive manner to build trust and identify the policing needs of all diverse, minority and 'hard to reach' communities.
4. COMMUNICATION: Communicate openly, honestly, sensitively and respectfully with all our communities, colleagues and partners to improve trust and confidence in the policing service we deliver to all people.
Some of the main initiatives that will have a meaningful impact on diverse and minority communities include the following:
GARDA NATIONAL DIVERSITY FORUM
The Garda Diversity and Integration Strategy 2019 - 2021 outlines our commitment to engage with stakeholders in a proactive and inclusive manner to build trust and identify the policing needs of all diverse, minority and ‘hard to reach’ communities. This Garda National Diversity Forum has been established in line with this commitment are is made up of representatives of all communities and key stakeholders to monitor and review the implementation of this Strategy.
UPDATE TO PULSE – HATE CRIME RECORDING
PULSE Release 7.6 occurred on 18th October 2020 and introduced a number of measures to improve the reporting and recording of Hate Crimes and Non-Crime Hate Incidents on PULSE. This included the introduction of a Hate Related tick box and the mandatory selection of discriminatory motives (now aligned with the Hate Crime definition).
HATE CRIME POLICY AND PROCEDURE DOCUMENTS
Hate Crime Policy and Procedures documents have been developed by the Garda National Diversity and Integration Unit in conjunction with our Garda partners and are expected to be approved in the coming weeks.
Following a full independent review of Garda Diversity Training in January 2020, a new organisational approach to training is in the final stages of development and will be delivered in 2021. The new bespoke online training programme is aimed at meeting the policing needs of all communities and will include the following:
• Online Hate Crime Training
• Online Diversity and Cultural Awareness Training
• Online Leadership in Diversity Training
Submissions to Garda Training
During the development of the Hate Crime and Cultural Diversity Training modules, the GNDIU have utilised representatives from a wide spectrum of groups to provide inputs and video content to enhance the learning experience for Garda members and staff. This has provided a welcome opportunity for diverse / minority groups to ensure their voices are heard and that their policing needs are reflected in future Diversity training.
To ensure inclusivity, the Online Hate Crime module was developed (by Facing Facts) in conjunction with CEJI (A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe) and the Irish Network Against Racism in a consultancy role.
THIRD PARTY REFERRALS
A formalised approach to third party referrals of Hate Crime from non-government organisations or civil society organisations via the GNDIU has been developed and will be communicated to our stakeholder groups in the coming weeks.
GARDA RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN
To support the HRPD objective of attracting, developing and retaining talented individuals, representative of minority and diverse communities, GNDIU, in conjunction with HR Equality Diversity and Inclusion Section, are actively engaging with representatives of minority groups.