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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

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More hate crimes prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service than ever before


The Crown Prosecution Service is prosecuting a record number of hate crimes, a report published today shows.

In the past year, the CPS has prosecuted 15,442 hate crimes - a 4.8 per cent rise on the previous year (2014/15), which also saw a 4.7 per cent increase from the year before that (2013/14).

The CPS's eighth Hate Crime Report details a 41 per cent increase in disability hate crime prosecutions, compared to 2014/15, alongside the highest conviction rate for homophobic and transphobic prosecutions.

In addition, there has been the highest proportion of sentence uplifts in racially and religiously aggravated crime cases, which comprise 84 per cent of all hate crime prosecutions.

Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions said, "My message is that a hate crime is exactly that - a crime - and will not be ignored. Hate crime creates fear and has a devastating impact on individuals and communities. Nobody should have to go about their day to day life in fear of being attacked.

"This report shows that more of these incidents are being recognised as hate crimes, so they are reported, investigated and prosecuted as such. It is important that this trend continues and no one should simply think that this abuse - on or offline - will be dismissed or ignored.

"More than four in five prosecuted hate crimes result in a conviction, which is good news for victims. Over 73 per cent are guilty pleas - this means that more defendants are pleading guilty due to the strength of the evidence and prosecution case, so victims do not have to go through the process of a trial.

"The CPS has undertaken considerable steps to improve our prosecution of hate crime and we will continue this improvement."

The CPS today also announced a commitment to consult publically in relation to revised policy statements on all strands of hate crime (racially and religiously motivated, homophobic and transphobic, and disability hate crime) which will reflect the CPS's approach to the prosecution of these crimes. Following this, CPS legal guidance for each strand will also be updated to reflect the developments.

In addition, further engagement will take place with community partners and stakeholders in the form of Local Scrutiny and Involvement Panels, and National Scrutiny Panels. The CPS will also liaise closely with the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs' Council to ensure that these commitments are delivered.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland said, "Tackling hate crime has always been a priority for the Government. We have worked extensively to improve our collective response to this issue and in particular to improve recording of hate crime, so that we now have a fuller picture of the scale of the problem."

Hate crime overall

  • The conviction rate across all strands of hate crime was 83.2% in 2015/16 and 82.9% in 2014/15
  • The proportion of successfully completed prosecutions with an announced and recorded sentence uplift was 11.8% in 2014/15, an increase from 4.1% the previous year. In 2015/16, recorded sentence uplifts reached 33.8%
  • The number of hate crime cases referred, by the police to the CPS, for decision in 2014/15 was 14,376 which was an increase of 2.2% on the previous year's figure. In 2015/16 the number of referrals decreased by 9.6% to 12,997
  • In 2014/15, the number of completed prosecutions increased nationally by 4.7% on the previous year. Again, in 2015/16 the percentage increase was 4.8%.

Racially and religiously aggravated hate crime

  • In 2014/15, the conviction rate for racially and religiously aggravated hate crime was 83.5%. In 2015/16 the conviction rate was 83.8%
  • In 2015/16, the CPS prosecuted 13,032 racially and religiously aggravated hate crimes
  • Guilty pleas featured in 74.0% of successful outcomes of racially and religiously aggravated crime prosecutions in 2015/16

Homophobic and transphobic hate crime

  • In 2014/15, the conviction rate for homophobic and transphobic crime was 81.2%. In 2015/16, the rate increased to 83.0%
  • In 2014/15, the CPS prosecuted 1,277 homophobic and transphobic cases, and this increased to 1,439 in 2015/16
  • In 2014/15, the police referred 56 transphobic cases to the CPS for charging decision. This figure rose to 98 in 2015/16. There were 37 completed prosecutions under the transphobic crime flag on the CPS digital case management system in 2014/15 and 85 the following year
  • In relation to defendants in transphobic cases, in 2014/15, 26 (70.3%) were men and 11 (29.7%) were women: a disclosure rate of 100.0%. In 2015/16, 66 (77.6%) were men and 19 (22.4%) were women
  • In relation to victims in cases of transphobic hate crime, in 2014/15, 20 (57.1%) were women and 12 (34.3%) were men (with a disclosure rate of 91.4%). In 2015/16, these figures were 51 (52.0%) were women and 27 (27.6%) were men (with a disclosure rate of 79.6%)

Disability hate crime

  • The volume of cases referred to the CPS by the police for a charging decision increased from 849 in 2014/15 to 930 in 2015/16, an increase of 9.5%
  • The number of convictions increased over the two years from 503 in 2014/15 to 707 last year, an increase of 40.6%
  • The conviction rate remained broadly consistent over the two years at 75.1%
  • The proportion of successful outcomes arising from guilty pleas was 66.1% in 2014/15 and fell slightly to 63.4% in 2015/16


Notes to Editors

  1. You can find the full report on the CPS website: Hate crime and crimes against older people report 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 - PDF
  2. The report includes three separate strands of hate crime with statistics from the past two years. In addition, the report contains information about the prosecution of crimes against older people.
  3. The CPS has also produced a downloadable infographic that explains what Hate Crime is.
  4. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief -
  5. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926