Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Questions (705)

Cian O'Callaghan

Question:

705. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice the status of action 21.3 of the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021 to implement a fully functioning online system for reporting hate crime; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45172/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána intend to launch a new non-emergency Hate Crime Online Reporting system in the coming weeks. The reporting system is fully developed and user acceptance testing has been carried out.

Following a public launch, with an accompanying explanatory video, the system will be available through the Garda website, www.garda.ie. This new system will allow Hate Crime to be reported to An Garda Síochána in a safe and secure way, and will allow Gardaí to offer the response and support that is needed.

All reports will be examined by dedicated members of the Garda National Diversity and Integration Unit, who will ensure appropriate action is taken to record and respond to reports.

The Deputy may further wish to note that my Department published the report of an extensive public consultation into reform of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989, on 17 December 2020.

I intend to draw on the conclusions of this report to draft the General Scheme of a new Hate Crime Bill, which will deal with both incitement to hatred and hate crime. I intend to bring the General Scheme to Government before Easter. The new legislation will provide the necessary means to prosecute perpetrators who deliberately or recklessly incite hatred against others on the basis of a protected characteristic.

The findings of the public consultation can be found the following web links -

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PR20000315

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Legislating_for_Hate_Speech_and_Hate_Crime_in_Ireland_Web.pdf/Files/Legislating_for_Hate_Speech_and_Hate_Crime_in_Ireland_Web.pdf