To ask the Attorney General, what guidance his Department provides to ensure the consistent prosecution and assessment of hate crime by the regional Crown Prosecution Service offices.
25 January 2017
Hate crime creates fear and can have a devastating impact on individuals and communities. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is committed to tackling hate crime in any form. In 2015-16, the CPS prosecuted 15,442 hate crime prosecutions, the highest number to date.
The CPS has published Public Policy Statements on all monitored strands of hate crime as a public consultation to demonstrate its understanding and commitment and to encourage public confidence. These statements were developed in partnership with community stakeholders, an approach which is being delivered nationally.
The CPS policy for dealing with hate crime cases is delivered by consistent application of national legal guidance. Legal guidance is available on all strands of monitored hate crime and incorporates relevant case law and good practice. It assists prosecutors to assess the issues in hate crime cases, make the right charging decisions and build robust prosecutions. The CPS ensures the policy and legal guidance is applied nationally by delivering national training to ensure effective application. The hate crime training is mandatory for all prosecutors.
There are Hate Crime Coordinators in every CPS Area and they meet twice a year to share best practice and inform national guidance. Since January 2015, the CPS has also operated a Hate Crime Assurance Scheme to ensure consistency in prosecuting cases. To assist the consistent prosecution and assessment of hate crime, the CPS nationally and locally, seeks the practical input of individuals with experience and expertise in supporting victims of hate crime.