West Midlands CPS to launch guidance on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities

22/11/2011

The West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will tomorrow, Wednesday 23 November 2011, be launching its guidance to prosecutors on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in Birmingham which will assist the CPS to understand the problems this community faces with hate crime.

The guidance, which is the first of its kind in the country, will enable prosecutors in the West Midlands to deal consistently, knowledgeably and professionally with members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities. It will also aim to build a shared perspective between the CPS, West Midlands Police, partner agencies and the traveller communities to encourage members from that community group to report incidents and crimes of hate.

 Harry Ireland, Chief Crown Prosecutor for West Midlands CPS, said: "We want to make clear to the public that we have a strong commitment to deal effectively with all types of hate crimes.

 "I recognise that certain community groups can feel victimised and vulnerable to racial attack. We are determined to play our part in tackling racism against them.

 "We therefore welcome the opportunity to work more closely with this community in order to understand the impact that such crime has on them and to make clear our commitment to dealing effectively with this type of offending."

Vera Norwood, President of the Gypsy Council for Education Culture, Welfare and Civil Rights, said: "t is really encouraging that the CPS have realised that some Gypsy and Roma people do have a difficulty in understanding the criminal justice system. I hope that this event will enable prosecutors to learn about our culture and way or life so that there is a better understanding and fair justice for all. I think that this is a step in the right direction."

 The launch will be attended by a wide range of agencies from both the statutory and voluntary sectors to examine good practices across the public and voluntary sectors and to identity areas for improvement to tackle issues of concerns.