CPS report shows rise in successful hate crime convictions

17/12/2009

The Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) second annual Hate Crime Report, published this week, shows convictions for hate crimes have risen by eight percentage points to 82 per cent in three years.

The report shows that significant steps forward have been made in the prosecution of all types of hate crimes - racist and religious aggravation; homophobic and transphobic; and disability hate crimes.

Barry Hughes, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Avon and Somerset and Group Chair for the CPS South West Group, said: "This report shows how seriously we take all types of hate crimes.

"Being targeted because of your race, religion, sexuality or disability is a profoundly isolating experience and one we will prosecute wherever possible. People from all communities have a legitimate right to expect protection from the prejudice and discrimination that are at the root of hate crime.

"We are doing a lot of really good work - particularly at a local level with the Hate Crime Scrutiny Panels, but there is still more to do, such as improving our service to victims and witnesses to increase their confidence in the system and to ensure our communities feel properly protected".

The report shows that the CPS has met the overall hate crime target, kept up a good performance on prosecuting racist hate crime and increased the numbers of homophobic, transphobic and disability hate crime cases being prosecuted.

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC, who superintends the CPS, said: "In its second year, the CPS report of all such crimes sends a clear message: that there is no hierarchy of hate crime - they are all equally corrosive to society and to victims.

"The way in which Scrutiny Panels are opening up our performance to community scrutiny has also been an inspiration for the Community Prosecutor approach, which the CPS introduced this year to make decisions more transparent to local people and help us to better protect them."

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Notes for editors

For further information, contact CPS South West Press Office on 0117 930 1343 or 0117 930 1344

The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:

  • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
  • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute
  • Preparing cases for court
  • Presenting cases at court

The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 85.1% in 2007-2008. Further information can be found on our website: www.cps.gov.uk

The CPS South West Group consists of the areas Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall and Gloucestershire.