The Crown Prosecution Service has launched a campaign to increase awareness and understanding of hate crimes, and to encourage people to come forward and report hate crime incidents.
Hate crime impacts not only the individual victim but also the wider community - but many victims and witnesses can find it difficult to report or even speak up about it. To encourage people to come forward and report hate crime incidents, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has launched the social media #HateCrimeMatters campaign. You can support the campaign by following the CPS on Twitter and use the hashtag #HateCrimeMatters.
To coincide with the social media campaign, the CPS has published new public statements on how it will prosecute hate crime and support victims in England and Wales. It is also publishing an online support guide specifically for disabled victims and witnesses of crime. In addition to the public statements, the CPS has also published revised legal guidance that sets out how prosecutors should make charging decisions and handle these cases in court.
Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "Hate crime has a corrosive effect on our society and that is why it is a priority area for the CPS. It can affect entire communities, forcing people to change their way of life and live in fear. "These documents take account of the current breadth and context of offending to provide prosecutors with the best possible chance of achieving justice for victims. They also let victims and witnesses know what they should expect from us. "I hope that, along with this week's campaign, they will give people the confidence to come forward and report hate crime, in the knowledge that they will be taken seriously and given the support they need."
A hate crime is an offence where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or shows hostility towards the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
Reporting hate crime
Anyone can be the victim of a hate crime. If you, or someone you know, is the victim of a hate crime, or if you’ve seen happening to someone else, report it to the police by phoning 101.
Alternatively, you can report it via the True Vision online or downloadable form. True Vision is a national police scheme to help victims of hate crime report the incident and get the help and advice they need. Visit report-it.org.uk to find out more.