The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has published its annual statistical bulletin: ‘Cases Involving Hate Crime 2021/22’.
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 2021/22 financial year, the PPS received 344 files involving hate crime. This was an increase of 14 on 2020/21 (330).
- The majority of files received fell into the category ‘violence against the person’ (68.6%). The number of cases involving violent offences increased by 11.3%, from 212 in 2020/21 to 236 in 2021/22.
- Prosecutorial decisions were issued in respect of 433 persons, an increase of 20.3% on 2020/21 (360).
- Eleven of the thirteen 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 61.9%.
Part Two: Cases Considered by a PPS Prosecutor to have Involved Hate Crime which was ‘Aggravated by Hostility’
- The PPS issued 299 prosecutorial decisions in 2021/22, just over three-quarters (76.9%) of which were for prosecution (207) or diversion from the courts (23). This compared with the 260 prosecutorial decisions taken in 2020/21, of which 70.4% were for prosecution (165) or diversion from the courts (18).
- The majority of the 299 decisions in 2021/22 related to offences which were either aggravated on the basis of race (141) or religion (80). Sixty-five 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.
- Eight of the ten defendants dealt with in the Crown Court in 2021/22 were convicted of at least one offence. Just over two-thirds (68.2%) of those dealt with in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts were convicted, less than 2020/21 (77.6%).
- Of the total of 124 defendants convicted during 2021/22, 25 were recorded as having received an enhanced sentence due to the aggravating feature of their offence(s).