Ten hate crimes reported in Westmeath last year

Ten hate crimes were reported in the Westmeath Garda Division last year.

According to newly released statistics from An Garda Siochana, Westmeath Garda Division received the joint lowest number of reported hate crimes last year, along with Wexford, Kilkenny/Carlow and Laois/Offaly.

Nationally, 582 hate crimes and hate related (non-crime) incidents were recorded in 2022, a 29 per cent increase on 2021. Of the 582 reported incidents, 510 were classified as hate crimes and 72 hate related (non-crime).

A total of 617 (483 in 2021) discriminatory motives were recorded (some incidents have more than one discriminatory motive). The most prevalent discriminatory motive was race (32%), followed by sexual orientation (22%) and nationality (21%). Incidents were recorded across all 9 discriminatory motives.

Hate motives were evident in a range of incidents in 2022, the largest percentage being public order (30%), minor assaults (20%), assault causing harm (9%) and criminal damage (8%).

The largest proportion of hate related incidents (47%) reported in 2022 occurred in the Dublin Metropolitan Region. Across the other three operational regions there are quite similar proportions of incidents evident – Southern Region (15%), North-Western Region (20%) Eastern Region (18%).

During 2022 An Garda Síochána implemented a Hate Crime ELearning Programme developed in conjunction with NGOs. This programme has been completed by 83.2% of all Garda members.

An Garda Síochána in conjunction with the University of Limerick has continued to facilitate Garda members and Staff participating in the Policing and Human Rights Law in Ireland Level 8 Certificate programme. Over 2,000 Garda personnel at all ranks and grades have completed and been awarded this certificate.

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, whose remit includes the Garda National Diversity and Integration Unit, welcomed the publication of the 2022 statistics.

“An Garda Síochána continues to have a strong focus on investigating crimes with a hate motive and supporting the victims of these crimes. An Garda Síochána recognises that hate crimes have a huge impact on victims, specifically because they are targeted because of a characteristic of who they are. These crimes also have a significant impact on wider communities and society.”