Sen­tence ‘up­lifts’ in crack­down on hate crimes

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

DOZENS of crim­i­nals in Sur­rey are fac­ing beefed up sen­tences as part of a fresh crack­down on hate crime across the county.

Be­tween Jan­uary and March this year, 24 crim­i­nal sen­tences were ‘up­lifted’ – or strength­ened – due to prej­u­di­cial mo­ti­va­tion.

The Crown Prose­cu­tion Ser­vice (CPS) says the ex­tended pow­ers send out a ‘pow­er­ful mes­sage’ that hate crime will not be tol­er­ated.

Crimes el­i­gi­ble for an up­lifted sen­tence are any mo­ti­vated ‘wholly or partly’ by hos­til­ity based on per­ceived re­li­gion, race, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or dis­abil­ity.

In­creased sen­tences range from ex­tended prison terms to longer com­mu­nity pun­ish­ments, de­pend­ing on the crime.

Re­cent ex­am­ples in Sur­rey in­clude:

A man who re­ceived an ad­di­tional five-week jail sen­tence af­ter yelling racist abuse at a man at his home in Chert­sey and caus­ing crim­i­nal dam­age.

Two women who were both fined £180, rather than £120, for racially abus­ing a woman out­side a school in Ep­som when she was col­lect­ing her chil­dren.

A man who was handed a £500 fine and or­dered to pay £300 com­pen­sa­tion to his vic­tim, in­stead of be­ing given a con­di­tional dis­charge, af­ter yelling re­li­gious abuse at a Mus­lim cab con­troller in Staines.

Chief Crown Pros­e­cu­tor Jaswant Nar­wal said: “These longer sen­tences are a pow­er­ful way of send­ing the mes­sage 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 those re­sponible are held fully ac­count­able and these ex­am­ples high­light ways in which this hap­pens in Sur­rey ev­ery day.”

The CPS is this week high­light­ing is­sues around hate crime via its Hate Crime Mat­ters cam­paign.

It is con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide monthly up­dates on suc­cess­ful hate crime con­vic­tions.

The CPS is also seek­ing new mem­bers to join its Lo­cal Scru­tiny In­volve­ment Panel, par­tic­u­larly those with a back­ground rep­re­sent­ing peo­ple af­fected by is­sues re­lated to hate crime – dis­abil­ity, racial, re­li­gious, ho­mo­pho­bic, trans­pho­bic and bi­pho­bic.

Queen gui­tarist Brian May with the Save Me Trust which will be one of 11 badger char­i­ties who will ben­e­fit from auc­tions of signed gui­tars

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