Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (329)

Joe Costello

Ceist:

405 Mr. Costello asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of racially motivated attacks that have been reported to the Garda Síochána for each month since January 2002; the number of such attacks that have been reported in the Dublin metropolitan area for each month since January 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3611/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

Racially motivated incidents are independently recorded by two bodies, the Garda Síochána and the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism, NCCRI.

The NCCRI was established with funding from my Department. Its objective is to develop an integrated approach against racism and promote a more participative and intercultural society. The NCCRI, in partnership with a range of non-governmental organisations, has organised a system of reporting racist incidents. The system aims to profile the number, type and location of incidents and to identify emerging trends. These incidents are compiled into six monthly reports. As noted in the fourth report, victims can be refugees, asylum seekers, EU citizens, Irish citizens, for example, Travellers, or tourists.

Number of Incidents Reported to the NCCRI

Report

Period Covered

Number of Incidents

1

May 2001 — October 2001

41

2

November 2001 — April 2002

40

3

May 2002 — October 2002

67

4

November 2002 — April 2003

48

I understand that figures for the period May to October 2003 are being compiled.
The Garda racial and intercultural office was established to co-ordinate, monitor and advise on all aspects of policing in the area of ethnic and cultural diversity. Incidents that are motivated by racism, sectarianism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism are recorded on the PULSE computer system. Personnel at the Garda racial and intercultural office, which was established in 2001, monitor all incidents to ensure that the system is accurately recording all such offences. Where such incidents occur, the Garda Síochána ensures that an investigation is pursued with reference to the provisions of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 and the Prohibition of the Incitement to Hatred Act 1989, which are the relevant legislative instruments pertaining to hate crime.
Garda policy on the recording in PULSE of racially motivated incidents was circulated to the organisation in December 2002. The Garda records racially motivated incidents rather than racially motivated attacks. A racially motivated incident is defined as any incident which is perceived to be racially motivated by any of the following: the victim, a member of the Garda Síochána, a person who was present and who witnessed the incident or a person acting on behalf of the victim. I have had inquiries made with the Garda authorities about the number of racially motivated incidents reported since January 2002 and the information is outlined in the following tables.
Racially Motivated Incidents 2002

Month

Nationwide

Dublin Metropolitan Region

January

8

4

February

7

5

March

3

1

April

15

1

May

13

6

June

6

3

July

6

5

August

8

7

September

12

5

October

14

6

November

7

3

December

3

3

Total

102

49

Racially Motivated Incidents 2003*

Month

Nationwide

Dublin Metropolitan Region

January

9

9

February

11

5

March

7

3

April

3

3

May

3

2

June

8

4

July

6

2

August

8

3

September

3

3

October

2

1

November

7

1

December

1

1

Total

68

37

*Statistics for year 2003 are provisional and are subject to a validation process and are liable to change