Increased numbers of tougher hate crime sentences are being passed by the courts after applications made by the CPS, data published today reveals.
Under hate crime legislation, the courts must pass increased sentences where prosecutors evidence that offences have been motivated by hostility towards a person’s race, religion, disability, transgender identity or sexuality.
In 2017/18, 67.1% of CPS cases involving hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity saw sentences “uplifted”. This means that overall the courts passed increased sentences in 7,784 cases annual hate crime report 2017-18
In 2017/18 the CPS Thames and Chiltern percentage of hate crime sentence uplifts had increased to 66.8% and compares with just 1.0% sentences “uplifted” in 2009/10 when the indicator for measuring all hate crime sentence uplifts was introduced.
Jaswant Narwal, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern, said:
“Crimes motivated by hate have a devastating effect on diverse individuals in society and it is encouraging to see the courts are using their powers to increase sentences in the majority of hate crime cases.
“Sentence uplifts are important because they demonstrate that the CPS has built the case effectively, the hate crime element has been recognised and the perpetrator has received a more severe sentence as a result.”
“It also sends out a powerful message to the public at large that the CPS continues to pursue justice to ensure that offenders will be brought to justice for these crimes.”
“The notable increase in uplifts since 2009/10 reflects the hard work of prosecutors to robustly present these cases in court and we aim to increase the proportion even further by 2020.”
Jaswant Narwal added:
“We know hate crime is under-reported but have a particularly distressing impact on victims, and that is why the CPS in Thames and Chiltern has been working with local partners to raise awareness of what hate crime is and to reach out to victims to inform them of what they can do about it.”
“Whilst the overall number of cases ending due to complainant issues has fallen, the Thames Chiltern total number of suspects prosecuted has positively increased by 140 cases since 2007/08. This reflects all local partners working together with CPS Thames and Chiltern to give assurance to victims about the level of importance given to tackling these crimes.”
“With the recent HMCPSI joint inspection report highlighting the good work of our network of hate crime co-ordinators, the data we are publishing today should provide further assurance to victims that the CPS is prosecuting these distressing cases effectively.”
Balraj Bussral Independent Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel (LSIP) member said: “The CPS have created an excellent partnership working and scrutiny forum in LSIP. The forum provides a safe place where issues around hate crime, through from the alleged crime, police involvement and uplifted sentences through courts, can be discussed in an open and constructive manner. The panel provides hope in addressing the inherent weakness of an adversarial justice system. The key to creating safer communities could not be better described through the demonstration of collecting and disseminating lessons arising- indeed, this forum is a key vehicle for inculcating best practice, where all partners working together can make a practical difference to the criminal justice system.”
Superintendent Jim Lunn, of Bedfordshire Police, said: "We are really pleased to see the increased number of tougher hate crime sentences being handed out. Everyone has the right to be safe and secure and to live free from fear or harassment. Hate incidents / crime are based on ignorance, prejudice, discrimination and hate and have no place in our society. We will continue to work together with the CPS and partners to tackle hate crime.”