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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

CPS homophobic crime data 2006 - 2007

11/10/2007

Figures released today by the Crown Prosecution Service show that homophobic crime is being tackled head on, and with success.

Between April 2006 and March 2007, the CPS prosecuted 822 cases identified as having a homophobic element. Of these, 478 resulted in a guilty plea and a further 124 resulted in conviction after trial. This compares to 600 cases prosecuted in 2005-6. The conviction rate has risen slightly from 71 to 73.5 per cent. This is the third full set of figures for all 42 CPS Areas.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald QC, said:

"This rise in the conviction rate and a high number of guilty pleas underline our determination to tackle this type of hate crime with vigour. The increase in cases also suggests that the confidence to report these offences is growing. We believe this is a direct result of our growing success in prosecuting these particularly nasty crimes."

Each CPS Area in England and Wales has at least one homophobic crime co-ordinator. They are trained to provide guidance to prosecutors and agents, work closely with the local police and other agencies, advise prosecutors on victim and witness care issues and make links with the local Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community representatives.

  1. Previous figures: between April 2005 and March 2006, the CPS prosecuted 600 cases identified as having a homophobic element. Of these, 346 resulted in a guilty plea and a further 80 resulted in conviction after trial.
  2. There is no statutory definition of a homophobic or transphobic incident. However, when prosecuting such cases, and to help us to apply our policy on dealing with cases with a homophobic element, the CPS adopts the following definition: "Any incident which is perceived to be homophobic or transphobic by the victim or by any other person."
  3. Section 146 Criminal Justice Act 2003 came into effect from 4 April 2005. This section requires a court to treat as an aggravating feature for sentence, hostility based on sexual orientation (or presumed). Although this does not create new offences akin to Racially or Religiously Aggravated offences, it now provides a statutory backing for the way in which CPS policy had sought to ensure that the homophobic element of an offence was treated as an aggravating feature, and be reflected in the sentence. Prosecutors can now remind the court that they must treat it as an aggravating feature, rather than requesting that they do so.
  4. In July 2006 Thomas Pickford and Scott Walker were sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 28 years for the murder of Jody Dobrowski on Clapham Common, South London, on 15 October 2005. It is believed that this was the first instance where a judge has been able to use motivation on the basis of sexual orientation as an aggravating factor when sentencing for murder.
  5. For more details on how the CPS prosecutes cases with a homophobic element, go to the Prosecution Policy and Guidance/Homophobia section on thie website.
  6. Media enquiries to CPS headquarters Press Office on 020 7710 6088.