East of England sees increase in hate crime convictions

23/10/2014

CPS East of England is one of the top four Areas in England and Wales for successful hate crime prosecutions, according to the latest report on Hate Crime and Crimes Against Older People issued nationally by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Frank Ferguson, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Area which covers the counties of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk said: "We are very pleased that 87.35% of hate crime cases in the East of England end in a conviction.

"Hate crime is driven by unfounded prejudice and hostility because of a person's race, gender, sexuality, religion, age or disability. It can start as name calling then escalate to serious assaults and sometimes even murder.  It affects not only the victims but also the communities where it takes place, creating an atmosphere of fear and distress. It is important therefore that people realise we treat these cases seriously and we work hard with the police to build effective cases which end in a conviction."

The conviction rate of 87.3% for East of England in 2013-2014 is higher than the national average of 84.7% and also higher than last year's conviction rate in the Area when it was 83.7%.

Mr Ferguson said: "As well as an increase in our Area's conviction rate, each of our four counties has shown an increase in their conviction rates and I am particularly pleased that convictions in Norfolk have increased from 75.5% to 83.6%.

"This is an acknowledgement of all the hard work of our staff in the East of England and I would like to pay tribute to them for this."

Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions said: "It is very reassuring to see that the hard work and effort we have undertaken to improve our performance on hate crime has seen such positive results. Not only has the volume of cases referred by the police increased generally, but the decision to prosecute and conviction rates have increased too."

Further information included in the report:

  • The number of hate crime convictions increased  nationally from 10,794 to 11,915 and the hate crime conviction rate also increased from 82.6% to 84.7%
  •  This conviction rate has been on an upward trend over the past six years.


NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Hate crime conviction rates by county:

 Cambridgeshire 86.8%
 Essex 88%
 Norfolk 83.6%
 Suffolk 92.3%

2. The number of cases in East of England has increased from 509 in 2012-2013 to 661 in 2013-2014

3. The report is available on the CPS website: http://www.cps.gov.uk/data/hate_crime/index.html