CPS commitment to tackle racist and religious hate crime in Kent, Surrey and Sussex

23/08/2017

The top lawyer in the Crown Prosecution Service in the South East has backed the Director of Public Prosecutions’ commitment to tackling racist and religious hate crime.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has been speaking about the need to protect communities targeted by this type of crime and it's a sentiment Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, which serves Kent, Surrey and Sussex, completely endorses.

In 2015/16, the CPS prosecuted a total of 888 hate crimes in Kent, Surrey and Sussex of all types, including disability, homophobic, transphobic and biphobic, but by far the biggest percentage was made up of religious and racial hate crimes - 84% (742 cases).

Jaswant Narwal from the CPS said: "These figures show how much of a significant issue racist and religious hate crime is across the South East. The CPS has a critical role to play in ensuring we identify and prosecute these cases appropriately.

"Sometimes hate crimes are reported by witnesses, as opposed to victims, so it’s vital that anyone who hears racist abuse or sees a repeated pattern of racist behaviour comes forward to report it, so that appropriate action can be taken. It doesn't matter how minor these incidents may appear.

"Everyone needs to report these incidents, so that we can bring the perpetrators to justice and send a strong message that the criminal justice system will not tolerate such behaviour."

The CPS have dealt with a range of incidents across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Some examples are:

Kent:

  • A man who yelled religious abuse at his neighbour in Gravesend.
  • A woman who shouted racial abuse at a woman when she thrown out of a pub in Maidstone.
  • A woman who repeatedly spat at a man in the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and used racist insults. 
  • A man who yelled racist insults at a nurse trying to care for him at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital. 
  • A racially aggravated attack on two men in the street in Ramsgate. 
  • A woman who yelled racist abuse at a man in the street in Maidstone.

Surrey:

  • A man who yelled racist abuse at a doorman at a pub in Guildford. 
  • A man who shouted racist abuse at a police officer after being arrested in Dorking. 
  • A woman who used racial language about at a neighbour in Virginia Water in a phone call to another individual. 
  • A man who yelled racist abuse at a group of people in a park in Redhill. 
  • A woman who spat at and verbally abused a man following a hearing at Guildford Civil Court. 
  • A man who yelled racist abuse to staff working in a kebab van near Cranleigh.

Sussex:

  • A man who walked up to a pregnant woman in a pub in Brighton and made racist comments. 
  • A man who yelled racist abuse at neighbours in Newhaven. 
  • A man who punched a man and then made racial insults to another man in a shop in Eastbourne. 
  • A man who made racist comments to a man in the street in Horsham. 
  • A man who made racist comments to a woman following an accident between a car and a taxi at Lewes train station. 
  • A man who left offensive racist and abusive voicemail messages for a Hove woman on her phone.

The CPS deals with cases of racist and religious hate crime in the same way as other hate crimes - which could be motivated by prejudice based on homophobia, transphobia or disability. As well as assessing if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the offence, prosecutors will also determine whether there is sufficient evidence that the offence was motivated by hostility to the victim’s race or religion, perceived or otherwise.

Those affected by hate crime are urged to report incidents their local police force. You can also report crimes anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. The public can also report hate crimes to Tell Mama, who support victims of islamaphobia or the Community Security Trust, who support victims of anti-semitism.

More details of the CPS South East's work to tackle all forms of hate crime are available on the CPS South East website, which is updated monthly with the latest successful hate crime convictions.

CPS South East works closely with local community groups and our Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel is made up of community representatives and members of criminal justice agencies, who work together to improve the prosecution process and our service. We are currently looking for members of the public to join the panel, particularly those with a background in representing people affected by issues related to hate crime - disability, racial, religious, homophobic, transphobic and biphobic. If you would be interested, please email SouthEast.Communications@cps.gsi.gov.uk

Ends

Notes to Editors:
Jaswant Narwal is the Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS South East, which is responsible for prosecuting crime in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Figures are taken from the CPS Hate Crime and Crimes against Older People report, 2014/15 and 2015/16. The South East figures are available on the CPS South East website.