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Hate Crime

Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hostility towards someone based on their disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation:

  • race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins
  • religion
  • gender or gender identity
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • age

Find out more about how we prosecute hate crime

CPS out of hours service to review hate crimes

23/01/2008

CPS Direct, the Crown Prosecution Service department responsible for charging suspects out of hours, has initiated a Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel to improve the way in which it deals with hate crime.

The Panel will review how CPS Direct advises the police on domestic violence, disability, homophobic, racist and religiously aggravated crime. The Panel will also look at crimes which target the elderly and those where children are involved as either victims or witnesses.

Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Direct said:

"Hate crimes are particularly nasty because victims are targeted solely because of their vulnerability, identity or beliefs. These crimes do not just affect individual victims and their families, but whole communities. Through the Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel we are seeking to raise confidence among these communities in the quality of our decisions."

"By raising awareness and promoting understanding of how CPS Direct works, and by building greater confidence in the way we handle hate crime, we hope that more people will come forward and report such crime, and be willing to act as witnesses and jurors".

The Panel's membership includes independent representatives from Voice UK, Liverpool City Council, University of Northumbria, Action on Elder Abuse, Stop It Now! and the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs). With a CPS Direct facilitator they review examples of hate crimes where the initial charging advice was given by CPS Direct lawyers in order to identify strengths, weaknesses or trends in the decision making.

Examples of good practice and any learning points are passed on to CPS Direct lawyers. The Panel's aim is to increase understanding of how the decision making process can be improved from a community perspective and, ultimately, contribute to a reduction in the number of unsuccessful outcomes for cases of hate crime.

Kathryn Stone OBE, Chief Executive of Voice UK and chair of the panel said:

"CPS Direct is taking a brave and important step in opening up its decision making to independent scrutiny. We welcome this move as a way of fostering a better understanding of decision making and making suggestions for improvements. This can only lead to better outcomes for victims of hate crime. We look forward to reporting on progress over the next year."

Tivoli Wallington who set up the Panel and facilitates the meetings added: "We want to ensure that the way these crimes are dealt with by CPS Direct is open and transparent. By engaging with independent bodies and opening up our decision making process to scrutiny, and by learning and improving from this scrutiny, we aim to increase public trust in the CPS and CPS Direct."

  1. CPS Direct provides out of hours charging advice to all police forces across England and Wales. It operates 5pm-9am, Monday to Friday and 24 hours a day at weekends and Public Holidays.
  2. More information about CPS Direct is available at on their website at www.cps.gov.uk/direct.
  3. National media enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8106.