Tougher prison sentences in London for 'hate crime' perpetrators


Hundreds of defendants a month are being handed stiffer sentences because they have committed a hate crime motivated by prejudice.

1,814 criminal sentences were 'uplifted' across England and Wales between January and April this year, with 419 in London during the same period.

Crimes which are eligible for an uplifted sentence are any that are motivated 'wholly or partly' by hostility based on perceived religion, race, sexual orientation or disability.

The increased sentences ranged from extended prison terms to longer community punishments, depending on the crime.

Examples in London included:

- An extra month on top of a four-month curfew for a 56-year-old who admitted racially abusing a black woman in New Cross, south-east London.

- Three months more in prison for a 23-year-old man who racially abused and physically attacked security guards escorting him from Thameside prison to hospital after a seizure.

- A prison sentence doubled because a 20-year-old caught with knives in Woolwich, south east London, shouted racial abuse at his carer.

Claire Lindley, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London South, said: "These longer sentences are a powerful way of sending the message that hate crime is viewed very seriously in the eyes of the law. I would encourage all victims to report hate crimes as we can and do make every effort to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable."

The CPS has been highlighting hate crime and associated issues this week through our #hatecrimematters campaign. You can find lots of information and a range of materials for use on social media and online on our Hate Crime Matters campaign page.