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Hate Crime

Volume 628: debated on Thursday 14 September 2017

2. What steps the Crown Prosecution Service is taking to implement the Government’s plan for tackling hate crime. (900853)

Last month, the CPS took new steps to fulfil one of its commitments in the cross-Government hate crime action plan by publishing revised public statements and legal guidance on all strands of hate crime.

Homophobic and transphobic hate crime prosecutions in the north-east are up by 55% in recent years. Will my hon. and learned Friend join me in welcoming that increase in prosecutions and, crucially, will he inform the House of what he is doing to encourage the spread of best practice in how we continue to bear down on this horrible crime?

On my visit to the north-east CPS, I met representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to discuss the ways in which the regional CPS is engaging with that community. I am glad to say that, on a wider basis, the CPS is developing a training package on these issues with input from the relevant leading organisations in the field.

Alas, we have seen an increase in the use of all types of social media as a vehicle for all types of hate crime. What steps has the CPS taken, is it taking or does it plan to take to deal with all types of online hate crime?

Last month, the CPS published revised guidance committing it to treat online hate crime as seriously as offline offences, taking into account the impact on the wider community when deciding the question of prosecution in the public interest.