Crown Prosecution Service Counter Terror Division visits CST
11 March 2019
Last week, CST was delighted to welcome four members of the Crown Prosecution Service's Counter Terrorism Division to our office in London to discuss their work. CST is proud of our long-standing relationship with the CPS, with CST's International Director, Mike Whine MBE previously acting as Lay Adviser to the Counter Terrorism Division and currently sitting on the Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel of the London CPS.
The CPS representatives were all prosecutors and lawyers who are experts in their field. The team which visited CST, The Counter Terrorism Division, also works more widely on incitement to religious and racial hatred, hatred based on sexual orientation, war crimes, official secrets cases, piracy and hijacking. One of the prosecutors presented their work on religious and racial crime, focusing on the legal differences between incitement for religious hate crime, versus racially motivated hate crime. They also explained why the CPS choose to prosecute some cases, whilst being unable to tackle others; simply, is there enough evidence and is it in the public interest?
Another of the representatives, who recently worked on a case involving a minor who attempted to flee to Syria to join a terror group in the fractured state, presented their work in building a case against the individual, as well as the issues which face prosecutors when working on cases involving minors and internet-based radicalisation. A third prosecutor discussed a recent case where several members of a family were convicted of terror-related and criminal offences, linked to terrorism in Syria. The prosecutor re-iterated the problem of when do the police act; as soon as they know someone is involved with terror, or when they have enough evidence to ensure a prosecution? Including taking into account the possible risk to life an individual suspected of terror-related offences poses.
The fourth prosecutor discussed how they built the case against a recently proscribed Extreme Right Wing Group, who were covertly seeking to ensure the group’s survival after they had been banned, while also prosecuting one leading member for other offences.
CST wishes to thank the CPS Counter Terrorism Division for taking the time to visit CST and for their fascinating and informative presentations. CST works hard to cultivate relationships with those who work to tackle antisemitic hate crime and terrorism, and is pleased they were able to share their wider work and their legal and investigative processes with us.
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