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We want to hear your views about our prosecution policy and so we conduct consultations to help inform our policy making.

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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 seeks views on prosecuting crimes against older people

07/11/2007

The Crown Prosecution Service today launched a public consultation on prosecuting crimes against older people, seeking views on how it deals with crimes against them and how it supports those who are victims and witnesses.

Sir Ken Macdonald, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "We want older people, their families, communities and the general public to be confident that the CPS understands the serious implications of crimes against older people.

"We will work with police, health and social care agencies, voluntary and community organisations, not only to gather evidence but to support older people during a case. If there is any evidence that there is an aggravating element to an offence based on a victim's age, we will draw it to the attention of the court.

"Safety and security, and the right to live free from the fear of crime, arising from mistreatment or abuse, are fundamental rights and go to the core of older people's sense of well being. Feeling and being unsafe, or 'at risk', has a significant negative impact on older people's health and sense of wellbeing and can leave them isolated and unable to participate socially and economically in their communities."

The draft policy has been produced through the work of a project group chaired by CPS London's Chief Crown Prosecutor, Dru Sharpling, and involving representatives of key organisations working and researching in the field of age equality and older people's experiences.

The type of crimes on which the CPS will focus includes:

  • abuse or neglect where there is an expectation of trust, whether by family members, friends or paid workers, or where the older person is living either temporarily or permanently in an institution;
  • crimes which are specifically targeted at older people because they are perceived as vulnerable or potentially easy to steal from, such as muggings, doorstep theft or rogue traders;
  • crimes against older people which are in part or wholly motivated by hostility based on age.

Sir Ken said: "Stopping crimes against older people and bringing perpetrators to justice should be a priority for our society and for the CPS. The CPS recognizes its role in protecting older people's rights by prosecuting offenders effectively and we invite people to respond to this consultation by giving us their views on how we can best do this."

  1. The CPS has a number of public policy statements in various areas of hate crime, including public policy statements on Racist and Religious Crimes; Homophobic Crime; Domestic Violence and most recently Disability Hate Crime. The creation of this public policy statement on older people means that CPS will have in place policy statements covering all six 'equality strands' by March 2008 (namely race, religion, disability, gender, sexuality and age).
  2. The consultation on the Policy for Prosecuting Crimes Against Older People is being launched during Inside Justice Week, where the public gets the chance to take a look behind the scenes of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England and Wales. Up and down the country events and activities are organised to show how justice is done in our police stations, courts and prisons. It is also an opportunity to reward good practice and allow all communities to get involved in the way the CJS works.
  3. The consultation period will last for three months and the closing date is January 31, 2008. The policy is expected to be in place by March 2008.
  4. The consultation document is available on our website - go to Consultations/CPS consults on policy for prosecuting crimes against the older person
  5. For further information, contact CPS Press Office on 020 7796 8180.
  • LONDON: A carer in South London hit an 81-year-old male resident in a nursing home across the face in January 2007. The assault was reported to the police by a person on work experience at the home and the carer was charged with common assault. In October 2007 she was sentenced to 80 hours' community service, and a two month suspended prison sentence. She was also ordered to pay £155 costs.
  • DERBYSHIRE: A paramedic pleaded guilty to theft when he heard his elderly victim was prepared to give evidence via a live television link-up from his home. The groundbreaking initiative - the first of its kind ever set up in the county - enabled the 76-year-old victim to give evidence against the paramedic who stole cash at his house following a 999 call. He had pleaded not guilty, but as the trial was due to start at Derby Crown Court with his victim on stand-by he changed his plea. Derbyshire CPS applied for a live link to be set up from the court to the victim's home. The paramedic was jailed for nine months in May 2007, to run concurrently to a sentence of 12 months for other thefts.