Yesterday, a change was made in the newly published Garda Inspectorate Crime Investigation report wherein it recommended changes to how Gardaí investigate homophobic crime.
Upon interviewing over 1,000 Gardaí, the report found that not one of these Gardaí had ever recorded or investigated a homophobic crime. The recommendations put forward suggest a victim-centred policy is implemented, to encourage victims to report offences.
Brian Sheehan, Director of GLEN, said, “We welcome the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate on addressing homophobic crimes and incidents. Changing a culture of underreporting of homophobic and transphobic incidents to the Gardaí will require significant efforts to build confidence that incidents will be taken seriously and will be investigated.”
Research by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in 2013 found that:
- One third of LGBT people in Ireland were physically or sexually attacked, or threatened with violence in the last five years.
- One in four experienced harassment six or more times in the last 12 months, according to research by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in 2013.
- Eight of out every ten LGBT people who experienced a homophobic or transphobic incident did not report the last incident to the Gardaí.
However, the number of incidents officially recorded in the Garda PULSE system as having been motivated by homophobia stood at 17 in 2013.
“We particularly welcome the Garda Inspectorate recommendation to develop third party reporting sites to accommodate victim reporting. GLEN will launch a third party reporting website in December which aims to bridge the gaps between LGBT individuals who experience hate crime and the Gardaí, and to encourage reporting of all homophobic or transphobic incidents” said Craig Dwyer, Policy and Projects Officer, GLEN.
“These recommendations, if implemented, could help build the confidence of those LGBT people who experience violence and harassment to report the incident to the Gardaí. Ultimately the aim is to achieve a society where LGBT people can live a life without fear of violence and harassment because they are LGBT, and a society where they can feel comfortable holding their partners hands walking safely down the main street in any town or village in Ireland,” concluded Dwyer.
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