CPS seeks community views to improve prosecutions for Racially and Religiously Aggravated Hate Crime

11/10/2016

As part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, the Crown Prosecution Service nationally has launched a public consultation and is asking for community views to help shape future policy to improve the response to racially and religiously aggravated hate crime.

Steve Hoolohan, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS Wessex (Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Dorset and Wiltshire) said: "Racially and Religiously Aggravated Hate Crime has a huge impact not only on the victim but on the wider communities, and has no place in our society. We are looking at our policy on prosecuting these crimes and actively seeking the views of communities to help us shape our policies.

"Over the 12 months up to the end of June 2016, we have prosecuted 529 Racially and Religiously Aggravated Hate Crime across Wessex, with 86.4 per cent resulting in a conviction, providing a conviction rate above the national average for victims of these appalling crimes.

"On Saturday, Billy Wiedenbruch, 19, attended Dorset County Hospital where he was racially abusive to doctors, nurses and security staff also making threats to assault them. Mr Wiedenbruch was kept in custody over the weekend and appeared before Weymouth Magistrates' Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to a Section 4A Public Order Act 1986 charge of causing harassment, alarm and distress.

"Mr Widenbruch was sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment. The Magistrates indicated that had this not been a hate crime the sentence would have been only eight weeks.

"We would like to thank the staff at Dorset County Hospital for their support and swift reporting of this horrible incident. Both the manner and speed in which the court dealt with this matter can leave no-one in any doubt of how seriously these types of offences are taken by the Criminal Justice System as a whole".