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Hate crimes: guilty pleas up

16 February 2012

by Paul Wilkinson

MORE than eight out of every ten religiously motivated offences taken to court in 2010-11 resulted in convictions, a new report on hate crime from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) shows.

Hate Crime and Crimes Against Older People 2010-2011 also suggests that more defendants are pleading guilty. In the case of religious hate crime, the figure was up seven per cent. The year 2010-11 was the first time that the CPS had logged religious crimes separately. During the year it was successful in 472 out of 565 cases.

The Director of Public Prosecu­tions, Keir Starmer QC, 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.

“I am particularly pleased that the number of guilty pleas is increasing, as this demonstrates that our prosecutors are building stronger cases. The increase in guilty pleas benefits the victims of these crimes, many of whom would find giving evidence a stressful ordeal.

“Outcomes in cases of hate crime are continuing to improve. We should be proud of the work we have done . . . but I am determined that we build on this success.”

In 2010-11, there were 10,823 guilty pleas out of 12,651 convic­tions, and 15,284 prosecutions. During 2009-10 there were 9700 guilty pleas, 11,405 convictions, and 13,921 prosecutions.

The report can be accessed here

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