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Hate Crime: Non-UK EU Citizens

Volume 620: debated on Thursday 2 February 2017

3. What assessment he has made of potential trends in the level of prosecutions for hate crime towards non-UK EU citizens once article 50 is triggered. (908567)

The Government are working closely with the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and community organisations to monitor any changes in hate crime levels, and we will continue to do so after the triggering of article 50. However, it is not possible to predict prosecution trends, and the data on the nationalities of victims are not disaggregated.

What steps is the CPS taking to improve the conviction rate for hate crimes against disabled people? Does he support the call by the shadow Solicitor General, my hon. Friend the Member for Torfaen (Nick Thomas-Symonds), for parity in the treatment of all protected characteristics in the aggregated offences regime?

The hon. Gentleman will be glad to know that rates of disability hate crime prosecution continue to rise. The rise last year was 41.3%, the conviction rate for hate crime being just over 83%. The total number of hate crimes prosecuted last year was 15,442, which is the highest number to date. I do, of course, take very seriously the helpful and sensible submissions made by the shadow Solicitor General.

As we know, in an age of social media it has become all too easy for perpetrators to spread hate and intimidation. The Crown Prosecution Service takes very seriously offences which cross the line to constitute grossly offensive communications, and prosecutions take place regularly. We will continue to work with social media to ensure that the detection of such crimes can be improved.