Prosecutions for disability-related hate crimes rise more than 40 per cent


Prosecutions for hate crimes have soared in the last year, with those for crimes against disabled people rising by more than 40 per cent.

In 2015-16 there were 941 prosecutions for disability hate crimes - a surge of 41.3 per cent compared to the year before.

Meanwhile, the figures released by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), show a 15 per cent surge in homophobic and transphobic crime prosecutions (1,469) and a two per cent rise in racially and religiously aggravated cases (13,032).

Campaigns have been going for years to report and reduce disability hate crime.

These numbers are part of a total five per cent increase in hate crimes pursued by the CPS -which, the service says, shows that such crimes "will not be ignored".

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said: "This report shows that more of these incidents are being recognised as hate crimes, so they are reported, investigated and prosecuted as such.

"It is important that this trend continues and no one should simply think that this abuse - on or offline - will be dismissed or ignored.

Alison Saunders.

"More than four in five prosecuted hate crimes result in a conviction, which is good news for victims."

She added that in almost three quarters of cases, defendants plead guilty, which means victims do not have to go through a full trial.

The CPS also announced it would engage more closely with community partners and would be updating the legal guidance for each strand of hate crime.