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Is policing reported to be adequate in terms of combating racist violence/hate crime effectively?

Key Area:
Anti-racist Crime Legislation & Implementation
11/01/2012 - 22:32
Short Answer

No. There are Equality body reports criticising the police for failing to recognise racist motive, for reluctance to investigate allegations of racist motive and for failing to keep adequate records of racist crime.

Qualitative Info

 A number of Equality body decisions over the past few years criticised the monitoring and handling of racist violence complaints by the police. An Equality body report dated 10.03.2009 (Reference number ΑΚR 241/2008) on the racist attack against a black pupil by other pupils at a school game, recorded that the police failed to take measures to prosecute the perpetrators. The report also criticised the attitude of the police who failed to take an active stand against racism. In spite of the victim’s unequivocal position that she wanted the case to go to Court, no arrests were made and no charges were brought against anyone. The police initially refused even to accept a statement from the victim’s father, but subsequently agreed to do so following the Equality body’s intervention.

In January 2009 the Equality body examined the handling by the police of a racial attack against migrants and found that the police demonstrated reluctance in prosecuting racist crime and in recording racial incidents. The perpetrators were charged with offenses related to common assault, malicious damage to property and riot, which do not involve racial motive (Equality body report Ref. ΑΚΡ/ΑΥΤ 2/2008, dated 26.01.2009).

In 2011 the Equality body carried out another self initiated investigation into racial violence incidents and their handling by the police (Ref. ΑΚR/ΑΥΤ. 2/2011 dated 02.11.2011) following a racist attack against an unsuspecting foreign man in the street by an organised group. The report highlights the weaknesses in the reporting system in Cyprus, which recorded 3 hate crimes in 2007 and none for 2008 and 2009, and deplored the fact that no charges were pressed against anybody in respect of any racial incidents. The report calls on the police to improve and upgrade the system of recording racial incidents in order to adequately comprehend the nature and extent of racist violence so as to better inform policy initiatives; it also calls upon the police to use the rich legislative framework on combating racist violence in order to prosecute and punish perpetrators.

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Asylum seekers
Type (R/D) Extremism - organised Racist Violence, Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Anti-semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, Arabophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia, Religious intolerance, Inter-ethnic, Intra-ethnic, Nationalism
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Political discourse -parties - orgs
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