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UK: Prosecution of hate crime

In the United Kingdom, for example, the Crown Prosecution Service published statements in August 2017 “on how it will prosecute hate crime and support victims in England and Wales”. Hate crime is defined as follows:[1]

The police and the CPS have agreed the following definition for identifying and flagging hate crimes:

"Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a person's disability or perceived disability; race or perceived race; or religion or perceived religion; or sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender."

There is no legal definition of hostility so we use the everyday understanding of the word which includes ill-will, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment and dislike.

In 2015/2016, the CPS had prosecuted 15,442 hate crimes, 84% of which were “racially and religiously aggravated crime cases.” An increase of 41% in “disability hate crime” was noted compared to the previous year.[2]

The conviction rate is more than 80%:

More than four in five prosecuted hate crimes result in a conviction, which is good news for victims. Over 73 per cent are guilty pleas - this means that more defendants are pleading guilty due to the strength of the evidence and prosecution case, so victims do not have to go through the process of a trial.

The CPS has published “Prosecution Guidance” on “racist and religious hate crime,”[3]“homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime”[4]and “disability hate crime.”[5]

 

[1]https://www.cps.gov.uk/hate-crime

[2]http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/more_hate_crimes_prosecuted_by_the_crown_prosecution_service_than_ever_before/

[3]http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/racist_and_religious_crime/

[4]http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/h_to_k/homophobic_and_transphobic_hate_crime/

[5]http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/d_to_g/disability_hate_crime/