Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Most hate crimes feature racism

Keir Starmer says hate crimes damage society

More than four-fifths of hate crimes prosecuted last year were racially aggravated, figures have shown.

Some 12,711 of the 15,284 hate crime prosecutions in 2010-11 were race-related, with 83% of cases leading to a conviction, according to the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) hate crimes report.

The CPS is prosecuting more hate crimes, more successfully and more defendants are pleading guilty.

Of the 15,284 hate crimes prosecuted last year, 83% (12,651) led to convictions, with 86% (10,823) of these coming after a guilty plea.

This compares with 13,921 hate crime prosecutions in 2009-10, of which 82% (11,405) led to convictions, with 85% (9,700) of these after a guilty plea.

For the first time in the report, separate figures were given for different types of hate crime. It shows 12,711 race-related offences were prosecuted last year and 565 offences involved religious hatred, both with a success rate of 83% (10,566 and 472 cases respectively).

Other figures show homophobic, transphobic and disability hate crimes.

Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions, said: "All crime is unacceptable but offences that are driven by hostility or hatred based on personal characteristics are particularly damaging to any civilised society."

He added: "The CPS has an important part to play in tackling hate crime in our society and I am encouraged by these statistics that we are on a firm footing to continue that fight.

"There is a lot more that needs to be done within society as a whole, particularly in the area of crimes against the disabled community, as I have already acknowledged."

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