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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

Man sentenced for stirring up racial hatred


Christopher Philips has today (8 January 2014) been sentenced to 12 months in prison and imposed with an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) for distributing videos of himself at an extremist right-wing event on a social media site. Mr Philips pleaded guilty to one count of stirring up racial hatred contrary to section 21 of the Public Order Act 1986 at a hearing on 31 October 2013 at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Specialist lawyer Bethan David from the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division said: "The three videos of Mr Philips posted on Facebook showed him dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit hanging a life size 'golliwog' doll. This was an act with very clear racist connotations, and Mr Philips' dissemination of the videos on open social media channels showed a clear intent to stir up racial hatred.

"Though freedom of speech is the right of any individual in our democracy, so too does everyone have the right to be protected by the law and that is why we regard racist crimes, along with all hate crimes, as particularly serious; because they undermine people's right to feel safe.

"While people are entitled to hold extreme opinions which others may find unpleasant and obnoxious, they are not entitled to distribute those opinions in a threatening manner intending to stir up hatred. Behaviour that incites bigotry and hatred undermines the freedom of law-abiding individuals and it will not be tolerated in our society."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  4. 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. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.