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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 16:36 GMT
Police 'may name' racist groups
Sir Hugh Orde
Sir Hugh Orde made the comments to the Policing Board
The police in Northern Ireland may name paramilitary groups whose members are involved in racist attacks.

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said members of some loyalist groups were involved in violence against eastern Europeans in Northern Ireland.

He made the comments at a meeting of the Policing Board in County Down.

Sir Hugh said police were responding to the threat at a local level. He later said there had been more than 100 arrests since April for racial crimes.

"We are seeing some evidence at a local level of some of these groups moving towards attacking people from the eastern European communities," he told Ulster Unionist deputy leader Danny Kennedy.

Ethnic minorities

Sir Hugh also said tactics which worked well in an area like Dungannon, County Tyrone, may not be suitable for Belfast.

"What we will look at is whether we should label some of the groups involved in such activity," he warned.

"It may not be specific to one group. Certainly you find with homophobic crime a lot of it takes place in Derry and a lot of racist attacks take place in south Belfast.

"But if people believe groups are organising, or are involved in a specific incident, we may consider saying this."

Dawn Purvis of the Progressive Unionist Party condemned attacks on ethnic minorities.

"Racism is an issue which must be addressed collectively by the community," she said.

"It is not an individual policing issue. I know a lot of colleagues and friends are working hard at a local level to address this."

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