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Explanatory Memorandum to Criminal Justice (No 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

2.Background and Policy Objectives

Racial, sectarian, disability and homophobic crime

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of racist incidents recorded by police in Northern Ireland and although the actual number of attacks may seem small, Northern Ireland has a higher ratio of racist incidents for the size of the ethnic minority population compared with England and Wales. There have also been increases in recorded incidents involving victims defined by their sexual orientation and a rising concern about attacks on the disabled.

Road Traffic Offences and Penalties

Road safety is an issue which is of great concern throughout the community in Northern Ireland. Car theft is and has been one of the most frequently committed crimes in Northern Ireland and each year witnesses an unacceptably high number of road deaths. What is often wrongly referred to as “joy-riding” is a significant problem for many communities in Northern Ireland.

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