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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

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CPS publishes response to All-Party Parliamentary inquiry into Antisemitism

06/05/2008

A Crown Prosecution Service investigation into cases involving antisemitism, carried out as part of its response to the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism, has found that more needs to be done to encourage victims to support a prosecution.

Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "When the CPS looked into the reasons for the low number of prosecutions it found that, where a suspect was identified, around a third of the cases did not go ahead. Most often, the reason for that was because the victim did not wish to support a prosecution.

"In the past 10 years we have made great improvements to put victims and witnesses at the heart of the criminal justice system, but there is still work to be done.

" We will be working with the police, as well as with the Jewish community and organisations like the Community Security Trust, to inspire greater confidence in people and encourage them to help us bring to justice those who commit these despicable crimes."

The All-Party Inquiry made two recommendations about the CPS: that it should look into the reasons for the low number of prosecutions and that it review cases of incitement to racial hatred to see what lessons can be learned. The CPS' response to these recommendations is published today.

Mr John Mann, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism said: "We welcome this review and the systematic approach the CPS has taken in response to our Antisemitism Inquiry. Together we must all do more to increase reporting of antisemitic hate crime and ensure that successful convictions result from the investigations.

"Parliament will watch with interest as these recommendations are implemented."

To address the recommendations, the CPS took forward three initiatives:

  • A community engagement event with representatives of the Jewish community;
  • An analysis of data obtained from the Metropolitan Police Service and Greater Manchester Police on antisemitic incidents reported in 2006/07, together with prosecution outcomes;
  • A review of incitement to racial hatred cases handled by the CPS Counter Terrorism Division during 2006/07.

One of the main findings of the investigation was that identifying the suspect was a key barrier to a prosecution. In the data examined, 69 per cent of crimes recorded did not progress for this reason. It also found that prosecutors would benefit from better guidance to help them correctly identify and refer cases to the Counter Terrorism Division, and underlined the importance of community engagement.

Sir Ken said: "The CPS public policy on racist and religious crime is a clear statement of our determination to prosecute antisemitic crime fairly, firmly and robustly."

  1. The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism was established to investigate the belief that levels of antisemitism in Britain are rising. It published its report in September 2006 and made a number of recommendations, two of them (Recommendations 8 and 9) concerning the CPS.

    Recommendation 8: We recommend that the CPS investigates the reasons for the low number of prosecutions and reports back to Parliament.

    Recommendation 9: We recommend that the CPS conducts a review of cases where prosecutions for incitement to racial hatred have been brought, in order to see what lessons can be learned.

  2. The CPS accepted these recommendations in March 2007 as part of the Government-wide response to the Group.
  3. Data from the Metropolitan Police Service and the Greater Manchester Police revealed 370 incidents recorded as antisemitic. 80 of the initial sample reported to the police were not recorded as crimes or "no crimed". Of the remaining 290 incidents, it was not possible to identify a suspect in 200 of them. In 31 of the remaining 90 cases, no further action was taken. In 18 of these 31 cases, this was because the victim did not wish to support the prosecution.

    For further details on the data please see the document: The Crown Prosecution Service Response to the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism on this website.

  4. Media enquiries to CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8180.
  5. The Crown Prosecution Service is the Government Department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:
    • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution;
    • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute;
    • Preparing cases for court;
    • Presentation of cases at court;

    The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 83.7% in 2006-2007. Further information can be found on this website.