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Data needed on hate crimes: Devoy

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/02/2017
Dame Susan Devoy © Sandra Mu/Getty Images Dame Susan Devoy

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy doesn't back the creation of a specific hate speech crime but wants data collected when hate crimes take place.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush raised the idea at a select committee hearing on Wednesday.

"We're working through the pros and cons of whether or not it would be the right thing to do to recommend a specific crime type," he said.

Dame Susan says she's been working with police on a plan that would see officers collect statistics on whether a crime is motivated by race, gender, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

"We're not advocating for any new laws," she said on Thursday.

"We want officers to be able to collect that data because at the moment it is all anecdotal ... right now we have no evidence to point either way."

Police Minister Paula Bennett said legislation to create a new offence wasn't a priority.

""Hate speech stuff can be used as an aggravating factor in sentencing ... as far as doing something further than that, that's not one of our priorities at the moment," she said.

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