The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has published its annual statistical bulletin: ‘Cases Involving Hate Crime 2020/21’.
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
- During the 2020/21 financial year, the PPS received 330 files involving hate crime. This was a decrease of 4 on 2019/20 (334).
- The majority of files received fell into the category ‘violence against the person’ (64.2%). The number of cases involving violent offences increased by 5.5%, from 201 in 2019/20 to 212 in 2020/21.
- Prosecutorial decisions were issued in respect of 360 persons, a decrease of 19.6% on 2019/20 (448).
- Four of the seven 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 260 prosecutorial decisions in 2020/21, just over seven-tenths (70.4%) of which were for prosecution (165) or diversion from the courts (18). This compared with the 246 prosecutorial decisions taken in 2019/20, of which 70.3% were for prosecution (156) or diversion from the courts (17).
- The majority of the 260 decisions in 2020/21 related to offences which were either aggravated on the basis of race (113) or religion (75). Fifty 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.
- Five of the six defendants dealt with in the Crown Court in 2020/21 were convicted of at least one offence. Over three-quarters (77.6%) of those dealt with in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts were convicted, similar to 2019/20 (76.8%).
- Of the total of 95 defendants convicted during 2020/21, 35 were recorded as having received an enhanced sentence due to the aggravating feature of their offence(s).
The Bulletin can be found on the PPS website here.
Notes to Editors
- The statistical information provided in this bulletin includes caseloads, prosecutorial decisions and outcomes of prosecutions at court. Figures are provided for the full 2020/21 financial year (i.e. 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021), and include comparisons with the equivalent period in 2019/20.
- This summary should be read in conjunction with the explanatory notes and definitions provided (see pages 2 - 4 and 25 - 30 of the Bulletin).
- These are ‘Official Statistics’ as defined in Section 6 of the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007. Statisticians from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency are seconded to the PPS and are responsible for ensuring that the statistics produced comply with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. All statistics for the current financial year have been finalised.
- The PPS Hate Crime Policy can be found here.
- Any member of the public may comment on the report by contacting PPS as follows:
Media Enquiries please contact the PPS Press Office on (028) 90 897187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.