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Kelly calls for Zero Tolerance approach to hate Crime

30 April, 2008


Ending hate crime must be a top priority for politicians and the community, Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly told a conference in Portrush today.

"The term 'Hate Crime' confronts us. It screams of aggression and violence, of the intolerant and the irrational. It is, what it is, and we should never shy for using it and never hide from tackling it.

"Ending hate crimes in all their manifestations must be a top policy, top political and top community priority. That's precisely why I'm here today," the Minister said.

"These crimes have their origins in unacceptable attitudes and behaviours because someone is different to you and not in a position to defend themselves against attack. Let me be absolutely clear, the Executive is committed to tackling intolerance, inequality, prejudice and bigotry. On sectarian and racist crime, OFMDFM works both directly, and through funded groups on a very wide range of activities to address attitudes and behaviours - to address tensions - to support initiatives and programmes on the ground."

The conference was organised by Kilcranny House, a resource facility for cross-community work in Coleraine, as part of Community Relations Week which runs from 26 April to 3 May

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Other speakers included Richard Benjamin, Nil by Mouth, Lyn Moffet Ballymoney Community Resource Centre.

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