Hate crime conviction rates in the South East amongst highest in the country
The CPS hate crime annual report, published today (Tuesday 16 October), shows that CPS South East, which is responsible for these types of prosecutions in the three counties, had the third highest conviction rate out of 14 CPS Areas.
Between April 2017 and March 2018, there were 787 hate crimes and defendants were convicted in 685 of these cases, an 87% conviction rate. For racially and religiously aggravated crimes, which make up the majority of hate crimes in the South East with 635 cases dealt with during the year, there was an 88% conviction rate.
The South East also saw improvements in the conviction rates for disability hate crime, up from 75.6% in 2016-17 to 80.5% in 2017-18 and for crimes against older people, which rose from 75.7% in 2016-17 to 84.2% in 2017-18. The conviction rate for homophobic and transphobic hate crimes decreased slightly, although it remains just under the national average at 83.8%.
Defendants responsible for hate crimes motivated ‘wholly or partly’ by hostility based on perceived religion, race, sexual orientation or disability can also be given stiffer sentences by the court. These “uplifted” sentences can range from extended prison terms to longer community punishments, depending on the crime. During 2017-18, 69.3% of all hate crime convictions received such an uplift, higher than the national figure of 65.2%.
Gareth Morgan from the CPS said: “These figures should help to give confidence to anyone who is a victim of hate crime in the South East that they can come forward to report it, knowing that those responsible are likely to be convicted and punished appropriately for their crimes.
“We understand victims of hate crime are often the most fearful of coming forward and can suffer the abuse they are experiencing in silence for months and sometimes years, believing that there is nothing that can be done about it.
“We can assure you that you will be helped throughout the process, with independent support available. If you need to give evidence about what has happened to you and the impact it has had on your life in court, we may be able to apply for special measures to enable you to do this with confidence.”
“Hate crimes have no place in our society. It is not acceptable for anyone to be discriminated against on the basis of their race, religion, sexual orientation or disability and we will do everything we can to tackle this in the South East.”
Notes to editors
- Gareth Morgan is the Area Hate Crime Coordinator for CPS South East
- Figures for each strand of hate crime in CPS South East, including a comparison to 2016/17, are available
- CPS South East works closely with local community groups and our Hate Crime Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel, which meets twice a year, is made up of community representatives and members of criminal justice agencies, who work together to improve the prosecution process and our service
- We are currently looking for additional members to join the panel, particularly from Kent, who have a background in representing people affected by issues related to hate crime - disability, racial, religious, homophobic, transphobic and biphobic. If you would be interested in joining the panel, please email Ann-Marie.Tierney@cps.gov.uk