New report into handling of Disability Hate Crime

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Police Inspectorates have published a new report on the handling of disability hate crime cases.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Police Inspectorates have completed two previous joint inspections on the handling of disability hate crime casework. These were published in 2013  Living in a different world: Joint review of disability hate crime  and in 2015 Joint review of disability hate crime – follow up .

This new inspection focused on progress made by the police and CPS, in response to findings from the previous reports.

Police investigations, charging decisions and file quality

The inspectors examined 42 cases that the police had sent to the CPS as well as 48 cases that the police had not sent to the CPS.

The inspectors examined how well police had investigated the case to come to a decision about the most appropriate outcome. They found that:

  • An investigation plan was missing in 43.3% of cases
  • In 21.3% of the cases there were avoidable delays in the investigation.
  • All reasonable lines of enquiry were only explored 76.6% of cases.

In over half (56.7%) police cases examined by the inspectors, they considered the cases to be in need of improvement or to be inadequate. The inspectors concluded, therefore, that the standard of investigation of disability hate crime was unacceptable in many cases.

Issues for the police to address include:

  • Chief constables should ensure that all cases involving disability hate crime are accurately flagged in accordance with the Home Office counting rules for recorded crime.
  • Chief constables should ensure that there is effective supervision of all disability hate crime cases, to assure themselves that investigations and subsequent case file submissions to the CPS have been completed to an appropriate standard.

However, the CPS has improved since the last inspection,   Chief Inspector Kevin McGinty said:

“I am pleased to be able to report significant improvements in the way Disability Hate Crime cases are being handled by the CPS. Although there are still areas where improvement is needed, this report shows that the CPS is in a far better place than when we looked at this matter in 2015.”

Issues for the CPS to address include:

Prosecutors should ensure that, in every case for which a Section 146 uplift is to be applied, they set out clearly at the charging stage the evidence or information that supports the application.

There is more information at:

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/publications/joint-inspection-of-the-handling-of-cases-involving-disability-hate-crime/

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/cjji/inspections/joint-inspection-of-the-handling-of-cases-involving-disability-hate-crime/

The report is available at:

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/cjji/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/10/CJJI_DHC_thm_Oct18._rpt.pdf