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Hate Crime

Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hostility towards someone based on their disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation:

  • race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins
  • religion
  • gender or gender identity
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • age

Find out more about how we prosecute hate crime

The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Disability Hate Crime Conference


A conference in Hertfordshire next week will aim to raise awareness of disability hate crime, and find out how the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and police can better handle cases.

The event is being organised by Hertfordshire CPS together with local police and organisations supporting and providing services to disabled people.

Hertfordshire Chief Crown Prosecutor David Robinson, who will be speaking at the event on November 2, said: "We know that there are many people living with abuse and harassment on a daily basis because of their disability. This was shown most recently in the tragic Fiona Pilkington case.

"We hope that by holding this conference we can start a dialogue with residents and the local authority to ensure more successful prosecutions for this type of crime in future.

"Often people don't realise that bullying behaviour is almost always a criminal offence, or they are not confident that their problems will be taken seriously.

"This is totally unacceptable and we must get better at supporting the specific needs of disabled victims and witnesses who are entitled to receive justice like anyone else."

Speakers at the conference will include people from Hertfordshire who have a disability and who will share their experiences of hate crime. The conference will also outline CPS and police policies on reporting and prosecuting disability hate crime and supporting vulnerable victims and witnesses.

Hertfordshire's conference will follow a similar event in Leeds this Friday (October 23), organised by local charity Access Committee for Leeds. CPS West Yorkshire hate crime coordinator Jane Cryer will speak at this event. Disability hate crime conferences have also taken place across other CPS areas, including Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Wales.


  1. For more information please contact CPS press officer Sarah Goldthorpe on 020 7796 8675.
  2. For a copy of CPS policies on Disability Hate Crime, Supporting Victims and Witnesses with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health Issues please visit
  3. 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
  4. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 14 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Organised Crime, Special Crime, Counter-Terrorism and the Fraud Prosecution Service. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,250 people and prosecuted 1,032,598 cases with an overall conviction rate of 86.6% in 2008-2009. Further information can be found on our website.

    More about the CPS

  5. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests.

    Publicity and the Criminal Justice System protocol