Sentence ‘uplifts’ in crackdown on hate crimes
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.
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