Crown Prosecution Service reveals new data on tackling hate crime
17 October 2017
The Crown Prosecution Service, with whom CST works closely to tackle antisemitism, has revealed that record numbers of tougher hate crime sentences are being handed down to offenders. The overall number of prosecutions for hate crime, including antisemitism, has fallen however from 15,542 in 2015-2016 to 14,480 in 2016-2017. CST representatives sit on several CPS-led scrutiny panels to ensure that antisemitic hate crime is not overlooked.
Crucially, one statistic revealed by the CPS was the rate of sentence uplifting, when a sentence is increased, for hate crimes such as religiously or racially aggravated motives, such as antisemitism. In 2007-2008, the CPS recorded an uplift rate of 2.9%. This jumped to 52.2% in 2016 – 2017. The majority of hate crime prosecutions, as outlined in the report, are for racial and religiously aggravated hatred, with 89.2% of cases falling into this category. Additionally, the CPS recorded a conviction rate of 83.8% for religiously and racially aggravated hate crime, including antisemitic hate crime.
In 2016, the Home Office launched the Hate Crime Action Plan, which includes a £2.4 million grant to protect vulnerable groups and places of worship. One of the aims of the plan is to encourage victims of hate crime to report to the Police and to recognised third-party organisations, such as CST. In the report released this week, the CPS wrote that CST, alongside partners, Tell Mama UK had “significant insight into the current issues that their communities encounter, and ensured the case studies reflected the realities of current offending patterns and contexts”
Alison Saunders, Director of the CPS, wrote last year about the relationship between the CPS and CST:
“Joint working with organisations such as CST has been instrumental in continuing to improve hate crime prosecutions. By sharing their insight and experience CST has supported the revision of the CPS’s public policy statement on racially and religiously aggravated hate crime.”
CST’s Mike Whine MBE, a member of the CPS Hate Crime Scrutiny and Involvement panel and former Lay Advisor to the Counter Terrorism Division of the CPS reacted to the data released this week:
“Its unfortunate that the number of cases prosecuted has fallen, but we are aware that the CPS looks to prosecute any case where antisemitism is the motivating factor, and where all evidential considerations are met. Our own monitoring of such cases indicates a steady rise in convictions in recent years, including those perpetrated online and on the streets. The CPS value our close collaboration with them as evidenced by the Director of Public Prosecutions’ commission to CST to publish our new book for hate crime victims."
You can read the full CPS Hate Crime Annual Report 2016-2017 on the CPS website.
[Image credit: Emmanuel Huybrechts]