The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has published new public statements on how it will prosecute hate crime and support victims in England and Wales.
Amid rising volumes of reports to police, the CPS consulted community groups and criminal justice partners to produce these revised statements, covering the different strands of hate crime: racist and religious; disability; and homophobic, biphobic and transphobic.
In addition to the public statements, the CPS has also today published revised legal guidance that sets out how prosecutors should make charging decisions and handle these cases in court.
Key points contained within the documents include:
- In recognition of the growth of hate crime perpetrated using social media, a commitment to treat online crime as seriously as offline offences, while taking into account the potential impact on the wider community as well as the victim.
- For the first time, CPS policy will acknowledge that victims of biphobic hate crime have different experiences and needs to victims of homophobic and transphobic offences.
- The CPS recognises it has a responsibility to actively remove barriers to justice for disabled victims and witnesses, ensuring they get the right support to enable them to give their best evidence.