Hate crimes under spotlight in Suffolk

HATE crime cases in Suffolk - which include domestic violence and racially motivated attacks - have come under the spotlight in a new initiative.

Richard Smith

HATE crime cases in Suffolk - which include domestic violence and racially motivated attacks - have come under the spotlight in a new initiative.

The Crown Prosecution Service will now cross-examine itself with the help of the community to ensure that it is correctly dealing with the offences.

These also include cases in which offenders have been convicted of crimes against homosexuals and transsexuals and cases involving religion and disabilities.


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From April to June the CPS prosecuted 219 hate crimes, of which 27 were unsuccessful and did not result in a conviction.

The service has now set up a dedicated scrutiny panel - to meet four times a year and study a random sample of cases - to ensure that the way in which they are handled is open and transparent.

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Paula Abrahams, chief crown prosecutor of CPS Suffolk said: “I want the community to see that the CPS is an open and accountable organisation.

“It is important for us to directly consult with the public on our policies and processes. The Suffolk Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel will be laying the foundation for this within our community.

“Ultimately I hope the creation of the panel will inspire confidence in the criminal justice system across Suffolk.”

Panel members include representatives from Babergh Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum, Waveney Women's Health Information Centre, Adult Community Services and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Maggie Strutt, independent facilitator of the Suffolk Domestic Violence Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel, said: “I look forward to working with all members of the panel, who are drawn from various agencies within the community and have specific expertise in working with domestic violence cases.

“Together we will undertake case reviews and, where necessary, look at ways to improve the level of service the CPS provides to victims and witnesses involved in these difficult crimes.

“I welcome being part of the drive for increased openness and public accountability of the CPS Suffolk.”

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