Skip to main content

Home News News UK

Police confirm they’re treating Belfast Pride incident as a hate crime

"Footage is being reviewed by investigators."

By Alastair James

(Image: Pexels)

Police in Northern Ireland have said they are treating an incident involving a man yelling abuse during Belfast Pride over the weekend as a hate crime.

Belfast Pride took place in the city on Saturday (29 July) with thousands taking part.

However, proceedings were marred slightly by a male speaker calling participants rapists and child sex abusers, according to reports.

Police tweeted on Sunday (30 July) that they are treating the incident as a hate crime.

The update read: “Police are aware of a video circulating on social media showing a male using a public address system in the Royal Avenue area of the city on Saturday, 29th July prior to the Belfast Pride Parade.

“Officers were present at the scene and gathered evidence on Body Worn video. This footage is being reviewed by investigators. The incident is being treated as a hate crime.”

“Entirely unacceptable”

As reported by the BBC on Monday (31 July) police have also confirmed that a number of people are being investigated.

The broadcast also reports that the man has been identified as a preacher.

Belfast Pride’s John O’Doherty described the language used by the man as “entirely unacceptable”.

O’Doherty told the BBC that he respected people’s right to protest but that “comes with a responsibility and that responsibility is clearly marked down in law. Everyone should have to live within those expectations when it comes to public protesting.”

Mr O’Doherty is also said to be seeing clarity on when police, who were present at the time, decided to treat the incident as a hate crime.