It’s just not easy to get away with racially and religiously-motivated hate crimes. It’s time the message reaches the perpetuators of such crime. A look at the figures of last year are enough to reveal that a record number of people were prosecuted for racially and religiously-motivated hate crimes in England and Wales.
Approximately 13,276 people found themselves in dock for such crimes in 2010-11. According to the Crown Prosecution Service, many had involved assaults or verbal abuse.
In what may give solace to the victims of such crimes, the statistics reveal that more than 80 per cent of the cases concluded last year resulted in convictions.
What is even more heart warming is that the prosecutions total is the highest, since hate crime statistics were first compiled in 2005-06.
The Crown Prosecution Service in total brought 15,284 hate crime prosecutions. The cases include ones in which people found themselves under attack due to sexuality or disability, or for being transsexual or transgender.
A vast majority of prosecutions, as many as 12,711, were for racially-motivated offences.
The BBC quoted Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC as saying: “All crime is unacceptable but offences that are driven by hostility or hatred based on personal characteristics are particularly damaging to any civilised society.”
Starmer also believes the prosecutors are building stronger cases, evident from the fact that the proportion of guilty pleas in hate crime cases has increased over the last couple of years.
He said: “The increase in guilty pleas benefits the victims of these crimes, many of whom would find giving evidence a stressful ordeal”.
Those indulging in such hate crime should realise that the justice delivery system is in place. They can run, and they can hide, but the hands of the law will grab them and bring them to justice.