Hate Crime Prosecutions

Man found guilty of racially abusing takeaway staff

A 25-year-old man was given an 18 month Community Order after he was found guilty of racially abusing a manager at a pizza takeaway in Kidderminster. In the early hours of 1 September 2017, Steven Williams attended the takeaway and ordered a pizza. The staff informed him that they had stopped serving and they could not accept his order. The defendant has then become involved in a verbal altercation with the manager which included Williams shouting racist abuse at him. Before he left the premises, Williams pushed a customer in the takeaway and he remained outside threatening the staff. The police arrived and arrested him. On 2 November 2017, the defendant was found guilty at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court of causing racially aggravated fear of violence. He was sentenced to an 18 month Community Order, which was extended by six months due to the racial aggravation of the offence. Williams was also ordered to pay £300 costs and victim surcharge of £85.

Woman admits to racially abusing railway member of staff

On 12 April 2017, two members of the public were waiting at a bus stop when they were approached by Kirstie Rutherford who was under the influence of alcohol. She became to verbally abuse the victims before she began attacking them. The victim fled the bus stop and sought shelter at Moorfields Railway Station where staff came to their aid and tried to calm the situation down. The 24-year-old defendant began to racially abuse one of the members of staff due to his Asian ethnicity. The police were called and Rutherford was arrested. On 6 November 2017 at Liverpool / Knowsley Magistrates' Court, the defendant was sentenced to a 12 months Community Order along with a 14 weeks curfew from 8pm to 6am, increased by three weeks due to the racial element of the offending and ordered to pay compensation totalling £450, costs of £85 and victim surcharge of £85 after she pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and racially aggravated intentional harassment.

Man convicted of shouting racist words at station

A 27-year-old man was found guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court of shouting racist comments at New Cross Railway Station and given a 12 week community order. On 25 January 2017, members of staff at the station were made aware of an individual shouting near to the ticket office. They heard Michael Fontaine shout the words 'Al Qaeda' and 'death to white men' a number of times. Fearing for their safety, the police were called and the defendant was arrested. On 7 November 2017, Fontaine was sentenced to a 12 weeks Community Order, increased by four weeks due to the racial element of the offence; made the subject of a tagged curfew between 8pm and 6am and ordered to pay compensation totalling £100 and costs of £400, after he was found guilty of two counts of racially aggravated intentional harassment and two of using threatening words.

 

 

Hate Crime

The West Midlands Region Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is committed to engaging with the diverse communities that we serve. We want to ensure that voices are heard and that all members of society are represented.

We acknowledge that public trust is measured against our ability to work with members of our local communities in key areas, which is why we established a specific Local Scrutiny and Community Involvement Panel to examine key parts of our CPS Policy. Our aim is to inform, listen to, work with and in turn, be informed by those living and working across the West Midlands region.

We view this process of consulting with community groups as an essential way of building public confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service in the West Midlands.

West Midlands Hate Crime Local Scrutiny and Involvement Panels

Hate crime can have a real and lasting impact on individuals, communities and society as a whole. The confusion, fear and lack of safety felt by victims of hate crime often has a ripple effect within the wider community and this can lead to whole communities feeling victimised and vulnerable.

The CPS West Midlands Hate Crime Scrutiny and Involvement Panel is one of the Region's main engagement panels and is made up of members from both community and voluntary sector organisations, as well as hate crime partnerships and interest groups. The aim of the panel is to improve how we handle our hate crime casework and to increase public confidence in our decision-making. The panel also helps to raise awareness about the CPS hate crime agenda across the West Midlands.

The panel ensures that we engage with communities and partners to improve our performance and to continue to listen to our local communities on ways in which to improve the handling of our casework. Members of the panel also help to better inform the direction of our Community Engagement Strategy and the quality of the service we provide to victims of hate crime.

How the Panel and community help us to improve our Hate Crime performance

The Panel focuses on working with communities to ensure that CPS West Midlands is informed by the real life experience of people from diverse backgrounds so that we can prosecute Hate Crime cases effectively.

Members of the Panel participate in thematic scrutiny panels covering: racist and religious hate crimes, as well as disability, homophobic and transphobic hate crimes. Finalised cases are independently selected for review with a view to identifying common themes, issues and trends. The panel scrutinises the decision-making process and the quality of contact and care afforded to victims, as well as the overall impact of the case on the community as a whole. The panel also advises on community engagement, consultation and key aspects of service delivery.

'Lessons learnt' from panel meetings are disseminated to CPS West Midlands staff to help inform and improve our casework handling, as well as to other Criminal Justice Service partners to assist in improving the effectiveness of our joint delivery of local criminal justice across the region.

Good news stories and successful cases are also discussed and shared with panel members and the local community in order to build confidence and reassure the public of the importance that CPS West Midlands places on bringing offenders of hate crime to justice.

Current Panel membership

Members of the West Midlands Hate Crime Scrutiny and Involvement Panel have extensive knowledge and expertise in a wide range of social issues and diverse groups across the West Midlands region.

The panel members include representatives from the disabled, black and minority ethnic group, LGBT group, faith communities, Practitioner Alliance against Abuse of Vulnerable Adults, CACH (Chase Against Hate Crimes), Victim Support and SAVANNA.

Attendance at Panel meetings also includes, by invitation, police hate crime leads from each force within the region and CPS West Midlands hate crime champions. Invited attendees contribute to panel discussions involving effective strategies to improve the investigation and prosecution of hate crime cases and the effective delivery of support and care for victims and witnesses within the criminal justice process.

The Panel is jointly chaired by the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands Region, Lionel Idan, and an independent co-facilitator Pete Morgan who is Chair of the Practitioner Alliance against Abuse of Vulnerable Adults.

Contact:

If any member of the community wishes to learn more about the work of the West Midlands Hate Crime Scrutiny and Involvement Panel, then please email our Inclusion and Community Engagement Manager, Parveen Hassan, for further information - parveen.hassan@cps.gsi.gov.uk