CPS Report shows rise in successful Hate Crime prosecutions in Bedfordshire

17/12/2009

The Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) second annual Hate Crime Report, published today, shows convictions for hate crimes in Bedfordshire have risen by 6.4 per cent to 84.4 per cent since last year.

This is above the national average.

The second annual Hate Crime report showed that significant steps forward have been made in the prosecution of all types of hate crimes Racist and Relgiious Aggravation; Homophobic and Transphobic; and Disability Hate crimes.

Richard Newcombe, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Bedfordshire 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.

"Yesterday we had the first meeting of our Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel, which sees members of the public review the way we prosecute hate crime cases so that we can make improvements to the service that we provide to victims and witnesses.  We want this panel to really inform the way that our prosecutors handle these senstive cases.  There is still more to do to increase community confidence in the system and to ensure our communities feel properly protected."

The report shows that nationally 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.

Mr Newcombe added, " I am heartened by the increase in the numbers of prosecutions for all types of hate crimes that we have seen over the last 12 months. We know that hate crime is under reported to the police because often people dont know that they are a victim of crime and do not have confidence that their problems will be taken seriously.  We must get better at supporting the specific needs of victims and witnesses of hate crime to further increase the numbers of those coming forward and receiving justice."