The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has published its annual statistical bulletin: ‘Cases Involving Hate Crime 2018/19’.
The bulletin is set out in two parts, reflecting the two distinct definitions applied in cases involving hate crime, as recorded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the PPS. In Part One key statistics are presented in relation to cases involving hate crime submitted to the PPS by the PSNI, while in Part Two key statistics are presented in relation to cases considered by a Prosecutor to have involved hate crime which was ‘aggravated by hostility’.
The key findings include:
Part One: Cases Involving Hate Crime Submitted by the PSNI
- There has been an increase in the number of cases submitted to PPS by police. In 2018/19 355 files were received, compared to 335 in the previous year (an increase of 6.0%).
- The majority of files received fell into the category ‘violence against the person’ (62.5%). The number of cases involving violent offences rose by 6.7%, from 208 in 2017/18 to 222 in 2018/19.
- Prosecutorial decisions were issued in respect of 432 persons, an increase of 1.6% on 2017/18 (425).
- Thirteen of the fourteen defendants dealt with in the Crown Court were convicted, while the conviction rate in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts was 73.1%.
Part Two: Cases Considered by a PPS Prosecutor to have Involved Hate Crime which was ‘Aggravated by Hostility’
- The PPS issued 265 prosecutorial decisions in 2018/19, over two-thirds (71.3%) of which were for prosecution (179) or diversion from the courts (10). This compared to the 279 prosecutorial decisions taken in 2017/18, of which 67.7% were for prosecution (178) or diversion from the courts (11).
- The majority of the 265 decisions in 2018/19 related to offences which were either aggravated on the basis of race (131) or religion (75). Forty decisions related to offences aggravated on the basis of sexual orientation, while five related to disability. Fourteen were recorded as having multiple motivations.
- All sixteen defendants dealt with in the Crown Court in 2018/19 were convicted of at least one offence. Over four-fifths (80.5%) of those dealt with in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts were convicted, an increase on 2017/18 (68.3%)
- Of the total of 144 defendants convicted during 2018/19, 49 were recorded as having received an increased sentence where the judge accepted that the aggravating feature of their offence(s) had been proven beyond reasonable doubt.
The Hate Crime 2018/19 bulletin can be found on the PPS website.
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