As part of work for International Day of Action Against Homophobia we interviewed Constable Carson, the local Hate Crime investigator based in South Belfast. It is important to remember that you can report Hate Incidents to the police as well – see our other pages for more information about the difference between a hate incident and a hate crime.
What does a Hate Crime Investigator do?
Police in “B” District (South & East Belfast) have implemented a protocol in relation to Hate Crime. This aims to ensure effective investigation of Hate Crimes and a reduction in the level of Hate Crime along with the rear of crime. This protocol is led by specially appointed Hate Crime Officers. We aim
to identify and prosecute offenders to the satisfaction of the victim and to use legislation that allows
the court to increase sentences in circumstances were a hate motivation can be proved. Providing support for the victim is especially important. We as Hate Crime Officers also develop and strengthen partnerships with local support groups to build confidence in the Police Service and tackle the issue of under-reporting. We will always go over and above our commitment to support the victim, we are personally commited to delivering personal, professional and protective policing all the people of Northern Ireland.
Are you wearing purple today?
Yes, I am wearing purple and grey boots, a purple raincoat with matching scarf and I
have a purple lanyard holding my Police Pass. This is a very important day and I wanted
to show my full support. :0)
Why do you think it’s important to raise awareness of the issue of homophobia on International Day Against Homophobia?
It is my believe that the issue of Homophobia should always maintain a high profile within our society and to give the victims the confidence and opportunity to report crimes against them. If the police are to prevent homophobic incidents and make those responsible accountable to the law, all incidents should be reported. Confidence in the Police Service is absolutely critical.
What things have the PSNI done to make it easier for LGB people to access support and report incidents and crimes that are motivated by homophobia?
PSNI now have dedicated Hate Crime Investigators. PSNI also provide funding to support an LGB advocate along with Housing Executive and BCC. We have Minority Liaison Officers in every station across Norther Ireland on hand to provide support and advice. On line report facility is available on the PSNI website should victims wish to use this facility rather than contacting Police via telephone or local station. PSNI schools officers highlight homophobia within their Citizenship and Safety Education (CASE) lessons within local schools.