Hate crime prosecutions increase

16/02/2012

As the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) publishes its Hate crimes and crimes against older people report 2010-11, Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) releases its local figures.

Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern CPS said: "We are prosecuting more hate crimes than ever before in Thames and Chiltern.  We prosecuted 898 in April 2010 to March 2011 compared to 840 in April 2009 to March 2010.  However, our conviction rate fell from 84% to 82.6%.  The national conviction rate is 82.8%.

"Our local figures for successful prosecutions (convictions) of the different strands of hate crime are mixed. They indicate that we are steadily getting more effective at prosecuting some of the strands, but not others.

"The Area prosecuted 30 cases of disability hate crime, compared to 24 prosecutions the year before, an increase of 25%.  The conviction rate also increased from 79.2% to 86.7% - the national conviction rate was 79.8%.

"The Area prosecuted 195 cases of crimes against older people, compared to 130 prosecutions the year before, an increase of 50%.  The conviction rate also increased from 74.6% to 80.5% - the national conviction rate was 80%.

"Our improved performance in dealing with disability hate crime and crimes against older people in 2010-11 is particularly pleasing.

"It is to be noted that the percentages are subject to greater variation when the numbers are low.  Concentrating on percentages only can be misleading and so the volumes of crimes have also been released (see below).

"The figures highlight a lot of the excellent work being done by our prosecutors who use all available measures to ensure that victims are able to give their best evidence at court.  This includes using intermediaries and other special measures.

"We are not complacent about the way in which we deal with these crimes. In the past year, we have started to refocus our work with Hate Crime Scrutiny Panels, at which community representatives act as critical friends of the CPS, to help us improve the service that we give. We are also working with our police partners on the levels of service on hate crime cases that we can expect from each other.

"That said, we are concerned that much hate crime is never reported to the police. If victims and witnesses are vulnerable or intimidated about giving evidence, we can ask the court for 'special measures' such as them giving evidence from behind a screen or from another room via a television link, so that they do not have to face the defendant.  We and the police can also put them in touch with other organisations, which can provide them with support and practical assistance.

"All crime is unacceptable but offences that are driven by hostility or hatred based on personal characteristics are particularly damaging to any civilised society.  People from all communities have a legitimate right to expect protection from the prejudice and discrimination that are at the root of hate crime.

"The CPS has an important part to play in tackling hate crime.  We are not where we were before in relation to hate crime, but recognise and acknowledge that we are still not where we want to be.  We are proud of the work we have done, and the improvements we have made, but are determined to build on our successes.

"We will continue to work with our partners in the criminal justice system and community groups to improve the way we investigate, prosecute and support victims and witness of such crimes."

Key data includes:

Overall hate crime

2009/2010 - Total cases prosecuted: 840 (134 not successful=16%, 706 successful=84%)

2010/2011 - Total cases prosecuted: 898 (156 not successful=17.4%, 742 successful=82.6%)

Disability hate crime

2009/2010 - Total cases prosecuted: 24 (5 not successful=20.8%, 19 successful=79.2%)

2010/2011 - Total cases prosecuted: 30 (4 not successful=13.3%, 26 successful=86.7%)

Homophonic and Transphobic hate crime

2009/2010 - Total cases prosecuted: 47 (6 not successful=12.8%, 41 successful=87.2%)

2010/2011 - Total cases prosecuted: 66 (15 not successful=22.7%, 51 successful=77.3%)

Racial and religious hate crime

2009/2010 - Total cases prosecuted: 769 (123 not successful=16%, 646 successful=84%)

2010/2011 - Total cases prosecuted: 802 (137 not successful=17.1%, 665 successful=82.9%

Crimes against older people

2009/2010 - Total cases prosecuted: 130 (33 not successful=25.4%, 97 successful=74.6%)

2010/2011 - Total cases prosecuted: 195 (38 not successful=19.5%, 157 successful=80.5%)

The figures for police force areas are in the report.

For a breakdown of figures by county, please contact Louise Rosher, Area Communications Manager on 01189 513640.

Please note that the crimes against older people county figures do not add up to the Area figure.  Cases not attributed to the county figures have been dealt with by our Complex Casework Unit  (x5).

Glossary

Racial & religious incident: any incident which appears to the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility towards a person's race or religion, or perceived race or religion.

Homophobic incident: any incident which is perceived to be homophobic or transphobic by the victim or by any other person.

Disability incident: any incident where disability is a factor in the offence. This includes any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be based upon prejudice towards, or hatred of, the victim because of their disability, and/or where the victim is targeted because of their perceived vulnerability.

Crime against older people: offences in the categories below, where the victim is aged 60 or older:

  • Where there is a relationship and an expectation of trust, for example, theft or assault by a carer or family member;
  • Which are specifically targeted at the older person because they are perceived as being vulnerable or an easy target, for example, a distraction burglary or a mugging;
  • Which are not initially related to the older person's age but later becomes so, for example, a burglar where the burglar does not know the age of the householder, but later exploits the situation on discovering that the householder is an older person; and
  • Which appear to be in part or wholly motivated by hostility based on age, or perceived age. For example, an assault, harassment or antisocial behaviour involving derogatory statements associated with the victim's age.