TV3 had a piece in the first segment tonight about the Police wanting hate crimes legislation. Oddly they twice said that the reason the Police want the change in legislation is so that they can collect statistics on racially motivated crimes.
This makes me puzzle about four things:
- What are the racially motivated incidents that the Police currently can’t prosecute but would like to?
- Can’t the motivation of a crime already be used as part of the sentencing decision?
- If the Police want to capture statistics about racially motivated crimes why can’t they do that now?
- The Police are abysmal at responding to information requests, often saying they don’t have the data (even when it’s clear they once did), what would they do with these extra statistics?
Either way around, I’d be pretty uncomfortable with the idea that something is criminal because it is motivated by racism, rather than because of its actual outcomes â€“ if you hit someone because they’re Asian it’s just as wrong as hitting them because they’re queer, or remind you of your ex, or because you’d had too much to drink.