DCC Drew Harris speaking about the PSNI's annual crime stats

DCC Drew Harris speaking about the PSNI’s annual crime stats

THE PSNI today revealed that that hate crimes across Northern Ireland have jumped by 25 per cent.

The police say it needs to work with a range of statutory and community partners on the issue of hate crime.

Compared with the previous year there were increases across all but one of the six hate incident types recorded in 2014/15 – racist incidents increased by 374 from 982 to 1,356 and racist crimes increased by 230 from 691 to 921.

The PSNI say that historically, hate crime has been underreported, and while an increase in reporting is a challenge for PSNI, it may also be an indicator of increased confidence in policing.

Indeed, in this year’s Northern Ireland Policing Plan, a target is to increase reporting of hate crime by 3%, so this figure is likely to increase next year.


The PSNI annual crime statistics reveal that There has been a slight increase in overall crime of 2.3%.

However, the level of crime recorded in 2014/15 is the 5th lowest annual crime level recorded in Northern Ireland since new Home Office counting rules were introduced in 1998/99.

Crime across Northern Ireland has risen from 102,746 in 2013/14 to 105,072 in 2014/15, which represents 57 crimes per 1,000 population, compared with a level of 84 crimes per 1,000 population when crime was at its highest level in 2002/03.

Increased confidence in policing does result in increased reporting of crime, and overall confidence in the local police as measured by the Northern Ireland Crime Survey, rose last year to 66.9 per cent (Jan 2014 – Dec 2014).

The overall downwards trend in crime over the last twelve years has generally been experienced within the main crime types of robbery, burglary, vehicle offences and criminal damage, while offences of violence against the person and sexual offences have shown an upward trend.

For offences of violence against the person the proportion in which alcohol was a contributory factor was 43 per cent.

Street level drug dealing continued to be a priority across Northern Ireland, with specific focus being placed on this issue, through Operation Torus in February/March 2015.

The number of drug seizure incidents in Northern Ireland increased by 5.8% from 4,825 in 2013/14 to 5,104 in 2014/15, with cannabis seized in 3,925 incidents.

However, over three times as much cocaine powder was recovered in 2014/15 (80.9kg), than in 2013/14 (25.2kg). In 2014/15, 2,831 persons were arrested for drug offences.

Senior police officers have also been very vocal over the last 12 months, about the need for community support to tackle the issue of paramilitary-style attacks.

During 2014/15 there were 94 victims as a result of paramilitary-style attacks.

This is 24 more than the previous year but 58 fewer than the number that occurred ten years ago in 2005/06 (152 victims).

Fifty eight of the 94 victims were the victim of paramilitary-style assaults while the remaining 36 were the victims of paramilitary-style shootings.

In 2014/15 the outcome rate was 27.5%, a 0.3% increase on the outcome rate that was achieved in 2013/14. PSNI introduced discretionary disposals during 2011/12; these contributed 2.9% to the outcome rate in 2011/12, 3.1% in 2012/13, 2.6% in 2013/14 and 3.1% in 2014/15. Penalty notices for disorder, introduced in June 2012, contributed 0.4% to the outcome rate in 2012/13, 0.8% in 2013/14 and 0.9% in 2014/15.

Commenting on the overall statistics Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said:

“We have seen a slight increase of 2.3% in recorded crime for 2014/15, which, unfortunately, is similar to the wider trend that is being experienced right across the UK. Like all public sector organisations we are operating in an environment of reducing budgets and reducing numbers of people to deliver against the same volume of calls for service. Over the past 12 years, while reported crime has fallen by 26 per cent, calls for service have remained constant at 500,000.

“There is a view that police deal only with crime, whereas this role accounts for less than 50 per cent of PSNI activity. We are reviewing how we deliver our service, in order to prioritise resources to the greatest threat, risk, harm and opportunity.

“Working in partnership with other statutory and community organisations will become increasingly important in the coming months, as we continue to seek to keep people safe, and address the issues that have been identified by communities as a priority.”

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