Advanced Search

Hate Crime

Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hostility towards someone based on their disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation:

  • race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins
  • religion
  • gender or gender identity
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • age

Find out more about how we prosecute hate crime

Support for Victims and Witnesses

Being a victim or a witness to a crime is not easy, but, with your help, we work hard to bring offenders to justice. Throughout the justice process we will support you and treat you with dignity.

The aim of witness care units is to provide a single point of contact for Victims and Witnesses, minimising the stress of attending court and keeping  victims and witnesses up to date with any news in a way that is convenient to them.

Witnesses are essential to successful prosecutions and we are committed to making the process as straightforward as we can.

Read the fact sheet about witness care units

Find out more about being a witness

Watch a video clip about Witness Care Units

Blitz on homophobic hate crime launched in schools

29/05/2014

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has today launched a new anti-hate crime education campaign in schools to help young people tackle homophobic and transphobic abuse.

The CPS has teamed up with the Ministry of Justice and Stonewall to develop the educational resource pack which will teach students about the impact of homophobic and transphobic bullying on victims and the potential consequences of this behaviour.

The LGBT Hate Crime Pack, which is backed by the National Union of Teachers, contains a DVD and lesson plans for teachers, designed to help students discuss stereotypes and prejudice and the impact of this type of bullying on victims. The resource is available to all teachers to download from the CPS website.

The CPS is committed to prosecuting homophobic and transphobic hate crime robustly and we are working closely with partner organisations to not only ensure that victims feel confident in reporting hate crimes to the police but also to prevent these crimes from happening in the first place.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, Nazir Afzal, oversaw the development of this schools pack. Mr Afzal said: "Targeting someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is totally unacceptable. Such abuse attacks people's right to feel safe and confident about themselves.

"We want young people to become more alive to the fact that not only are hate crimes particularly nasty and unpleasant, they are also illegal and committing such offences can have serious consequences.

"We hope that this resource pack will be used to help young people realise the devastating impact that homophobic and transphobic bullying and hate crime can have on victims and their families, as well as making them aware of the need to report abuse and the potential legal consequences for perpetrators.

"Education is the key to this and I hope that the pack will support schools in the work they do to encourage young people to take a stand against bullying and hate crime."

Christine Blower, General Secretary, National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said: "For too many young people school life is made extremely challenging and miserable due to prejudice and harassment based on their sexuality - this must stop.

"The NUT believes that the CPS pack 'Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender hate crime' offers excellent advice and guidance as well as materials to help teachers address bullying."

Superintendent Paul Giannasi, who leads the cross-Government Hate Crime Programme, said: "Government has committed to reducing hate crime and to improving services to victims. We know that young people are amongst the most likely to suffer but also perpetrate hate crime. These resources will allow educators to help reduce such crime. The products are likely to give victims the confidence to report crimes but most importantly they will deter offending by promoting inclusive attitudes in young people.

"We are very grateful for the CPS North West for leading on this work, which I believe is an excellent example collaborative working that will have a national and even international benefit."

Jay Stewart, co-founder of Gendered Intelligence, said: "We cannot underestimate the importance of this much needed schools' pack that looks to address transphobic and homophobic bullying in schools. In our experience students in schools are really keen to engage in discussions around gender identity. Expressing masculinity as a female bodied person, or expressing femininity as a male bodied person, continues to challenge society's expectations of what it means to be a boy or girl.

"At Gendered Intelligence we share the aims for all people, including transgender people, to feel happy and safe at school. This pack enables students to think more intelligently about gender identity and to consider the consequences of how trans people, as well as lesbian, gay and bisexual people, are made to feel just because of the fear and ignorance that abounds in society."

James Taylor, Head of Policy at Stonewall, said: "Sadly too many people still experience harassment and abuse simply because of how they were born. Through our work with schools we know just how important it is to work with young people, parents and teachers to tackle homophobic abuse. These new resources will be an important step towards ensuring that LGBT people can live free from fear and that everyone can take a stand against hate crimes and bullying."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. The Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime Schools Project is the third in a series of educational resource packs developed by CPS North West and other agencies and voluntary organisations aimed at tackling hate crime. The other two packs explore issues around disability hate crime and racist and religious hate crime. All resources can be found on the CPS website
  2. The 2012 School Report from Stonewall found that:
     More than half (55 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils have experienced direct bullying
      One in three (32 per cent) gay pupils experiencing bullying change their future educational plans because of it and three in five say it impacts directly on their school work
  3. In 2012, the Ofsted report 'No place for bullying' also looked at the issue of homophobic bullying in schools.
    CPS Guidelines published in August 2013 on prosecuting football related crime addressed the issue of homophobic chanting for the first time and this legislation is widely recognised by our partners - including ACPO, the FA and the PFA - as the most effective in this field: http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/football_hooligans_face_ban_from_world_cup_and_euros_under_cps_guidelines/ 
     
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  5. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  6. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  7. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.