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The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
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Tougher prison sentences for 'hate crime' perpetrators

21/08/2017

Hundreds of defendants a month are being handed stiffer sentences because they have committed a hate crime motivated by prejudice.

1,814 criminal sentences were 'uplifted' across England and Wales between January and April this year.

Crimes which are eligible for an uplifted sentence are any that are motivated 'wholly or partly' by hostility based on perceived religion, race, sexual orientation or disability.

The increased sentences ranged from extended prison terms to longer community punishments, depending on the crime.

Examples include:

  • Three months more in prison for a 23-year-old man who racially abused and physically attacked security guards escorting him from Thameside prison to hospital after a seizure.
  • An extra six months imprisonment for a 17-year-old boy, who admitted robbing a transgender man in Aylesbury, making a combined total of five years and 10 months imprisonment.
  • A prison sentence doubled because a 20-year-old caught with knives in Woolwich shouted racial abuse at his carer.
  • Two women who were both fined £180, rather than £120, for racially abusing a woman outside a school in Epsom, when she was collecting her children.
  • A woman whose curfew order was increased by four weeks to 12 weeks, after racially abusing a woman who was working in a pub in Maidstone¬† and shouting homophobic abuse at a police officer.
  • A man who racially abused white hospital staff in Swansea had his prison sentence increased by a third from 15 weeks imprisonment to 20 weeks imprisonment.
  • An extra three months imprisonment on top of a 15 month sentence for a man whole stole from an autistic victim in Caernarfon.

Claire Lindley, Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "These longer sentences are a powerful way of sending the message that hate crime is viewed very seriously in the eyes of the law. I would encourage all victims to report hate crimes as we can and do make every effort to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable."

The CPS has been highlighting hate crime and associated issues this week through our #hatecrimematters campaign. You can find lots of information and a range of materials for use on social media and online on our Hate Crime Matters campaign page. 

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