Sparkle 2015

CPS at Sparkle 2015As part of our on-going commitment to tackle hate crime and raise awareness of how the courts sentence hate crimes against Transgender people, CPS colleagues from the North West Area and Leanne Townsend from the East Midlands were out and about speaking with members of the Transgender Community at Sparkle 2015.

Sparkle, the national transgender celebration is the world's largest transgender event and for the last five years we've been celebrating with the trans community in Manchester. The CPS and Greater Manchester Police staffed a stall at this year's event.

Catherine Poulton, who is a member of the CPS North West LGBT Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel and a Trustee on the Board of the LGBT Foundation, hosted a workshop about the work she undertakes on the Scrutiny Panel and legislation surrounding the prosecution of Transgender Hate Crime.

Leanne Townsend, Legal Trainee and Sparkle supporter said "I really enjoyed being part of the staffing for this event.  Attending Sparkle provides CPS staff with the opportunity to engage with the Trans community and discuss their experiences of and concerns about hate crime and prosecutions.  One of the biggest concerns raised by the community today relates to reporting such crime, with the most common reasons given for not doing so including fear of disclosure of their Trans status and media reporting of their cases.  Attending the event allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the issues that may need to be considered during a prosecution, which I can share with colleagues and bring to the preparation of files "

Victims of trans hate crime are often subject to degrading and humiliating verbal and sometimes physical abuse and so it is crucial that we as a prosecution service encourage the reporting of hate crime.  Events like Sparkle help us do this as we can provide the community with information on prosecution policy and processes, including Section 146 sentence uplifts and the various avenues of support available throughout, like special measures.