VICTIMS of hate crime are being urged to report incidents - as courts are imposing tougher penalties on perpertrators.
New ‘uplifted sentences’ can be applied to any crimes that are motivated ‘wholly or partly’ by hostility based on perceived religion, race, sexual orientation or disability.
And up to April this year, 1,814 criminal sentences were ‘uplifted’ with sentences ranging from extended prison terms to longer community punishments, depending on the crime.
Gerry Wareham Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside said: “These longer sentences are a powerful way of sending the message that hate crime is viewed very seriously in the eyes of the law. I would encourage all victims to report hate crimes as we can and do make every effort to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable.”
In one religiously motivated hate crime, a defendant pushed the victim and grabbed her headscarf. She was convicted after trial of religiously aggravated common assault by beating. She was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment uplifted from eight weeks, suspended for 12 months.
The Crown Prosecution Service has been highlighting hate crime and associated issues this week through its #hatecrimematters campaign.
For non-emergency hate incidents use our online hate crime reporting form www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrimereportingform