Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual And Transgender Hate Crime A Major Priority, Says CPS

20/02/2009

New Scrutiny Panel To Examine Recent Cases. Do you know someone who has been the victim of homophobic or transphobic hate crime, or can you help someone who has?

The Crown Prosecution Service believes this type of crime often goes unreported with victims sometimes concerned about how their complaint will be dealt with and whether it will result in a successful prosecution.

In response, the CPS led by the Durham Chief Crown Prosecutor Chris Enzor, is establishing a specialist panel of community representatives to examine recent cases, committed to learning lessons and improving the services provided to victims.

The panel is due to meet for the first time in April.

Chris Enzor said:"This panel brings together, for the first time, members of the local community and the CPS to examine homophobic and transphobic hate crime cases.

"We are committed to increasing the number of successful prosecutions, but the only way we can achieve that is by building confidence in the gay, lesbian and transgender communities to stress that all reported crime will be dealt with properly.

"The panel will meet three or four times a year and will consider a sample of cases at each meeting. The panel will be chaired by a facilitator who is independent of the Crown Prosecution Service, and will be supported by a legal advisor who is also independent of the CPS," he added.

A similar approach has been taken by the CPS in dealing with crime such as domestic violence and racial and religiously aggravated offences, working closely alongside community partners with considerable success.