Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated, or perceived to be motivated, by hostility or prejudice based upon the victims:
- race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins
- religion or belief
- gender or gender identity
- sexual orientation
Everyone has a right to live without fear and harassment and if an offender targets a victim because of how they look or because of their beliefs the law provides additional penalties. The CPS takes hate crime very seriously and has specific policies in place for each type of offending.
When prosecuting hate crime we will highlight the aggravating features both in our choice of charge and when presenting the case in court.
By way of example, in April 2010, the CPS successfully secured convictions against three people who had carried out a series of random racist attacks on Jewish people in Salford. Two of the offenders received jail sentences for their crimes and ASBOs were imposed, banning the offenders from the area in which they had committed their offences.
We also make sure victims of hate crime are given the appropriate support by giving them details of support groups which can help them.
We have Hate Crime Scrutiny Panels which allow members of the public to examine our files in hate crime cases and to act a "critical friends" in assessing how well or otherwise we have handled the case, to measure compliance with our published policies, to enhance our understanding of hate crime and its effects, and to identify ways in which we can improve performance.