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Racial Hatred: Internet

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been brought under section 21 of the Public Order Act 1986 for using the internet to distribute or play threatening, abusive or insulting images for the purposes of inciting racial hatred in each of the last five years. (195544)

The Government take the view that the courts should prosecute the offence, and not the medium through which it is committed. Therefore no separate statistics are kept for offences committed over the internet. Since the Public Order Act 1986 was introduced, there have been a total of 86 prosecutions under the offence of racial hatred, resulting in 60 convictions.