The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has published its annual statistical bulletin: ‘Cases Involving Hate Crime 2019/20’.
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 a decrease in the number of cases submitted to PPS by police. In 2019/20 334 files were received, compared with 355 in the previous year, a decrease of 5.9%.
- The majority of files received fell into the category ‘violence against the person’ (60.2%). The number of cases involving violent offences fell by 9.5%, from 222 in 2018/19 to 201 in 2019/20.
- Prosecutorial decisions were issued in respect of 448 persons, an increase of 3.7% on 2018/19 (432).
- All of the eight defendants dealt with in the Crown Court were convicted of at least one offence, while the conviction rate in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts was 69.9%.
Part Two: Cases Considered by a PPS Prosecutor to have Involved Hate Crime which was ‘Aggravated by Hostility’
- The PPS issued 246 prosecutorial decisions in 2019/20, over seven-tenths (70.3%) of which were for prosecution (156) or diversion from the courts (17). This compared with the 265 prosecutorial decisions taken in 2018/19, of which 71.3% were for prosecution (179) or diversion from the courts (10).
- The majority of the 246 decisions in 2019/20 related to offences which were either aggravated on the basis of race (107) or religion (92). Thirty-six decisions related to offences aggravated on the basis of sexual orientation. The remaining decisions related to offences aggravated on the basis of disability or multiple motivations.
- Eleven of the thirteen defendants dealt with in the Crown Court in 2019/20 were convicted of at least one offence. Over three-quarters (76.8%) of those dealt with in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts were convicted, a decrease on 2018/19 (80.5%).
- Of the total of 130 defendants convicted during 2019/20, 36 were recorded as having received an enhanced sentence due to the aggravating feature of their offence(s).
The Bulletin can be found on the Thematic Bulletins Hate Crime page within the PPS website.
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