Police need to be better educated and data needs to be collected more thoroughly when it comes to hate crimes in Iceland, an adjunct in police training says.
Eyrún Eyþórsdóttir, an adjunct at the University of Akureyri, told reporters that all available evidence indicates that hate crimes have increased in Iceland. The topic has again gained public attention after it was reported that a group of Icelandic teens had recently lured an immigrant boy to a location under false pretences and then assaulted him while making derogatory remarks about his nationality.
“Going by what’s been happening regarding hate speech in Icelandic society, and the data that we have seen from Nordic countries, I believe it is almost possible to confirm that hate crimes have increased here,” Eyrún said.
She believes that improvements need to be made within Iceland’s police for to better tackle the issue.
“On the one hand, the police system that we use does not take into account or especially define hate crimes,” she said. “They are not especially marked as such. … On the other hand, this is maybe a new area for Iceland. There is still a lack of knowledge within the police force regarding what makes a crime a hate crime.”
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