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Tougher sentences for hate crime perpetrators in Bedfordshire

29 Jan 2019

We have come top in the region for gaining sentence uplifts for hate crime, which means defendants in Bedfordshire are being handed stiffer sentences because they have committed a crime motivated by prejudice.

Figures reveal the force had an 81 per cent sentence uplift rate for hate crimes from April to December 2018. Crimes eligible for an uplifted sentence are any that are motivated 'wholly or partly' by hostility based on perceived religion, race, sexual orientation or disability. The increased sentences ranged from extended prison terms to longer community punishments, depending on the crime.

Sergeant Carl Perri, force hate crime lead, said: “These longer sentences are a powerful way of sending the message that hate crime is viewed very seriously in the eyes of the law. Gaining a sentence uplift is helped by officers obtaining quality evidence at an early stage from victims, who describe the impact of the crime on themselves or their communities.

"We are encouraging victims of hate crime to come forward to police, report online at True Vision, or through third party reporting centres, to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable. We also ensure victims are supported in speaking out after suffering these terrible and damaging crimes.”

The third party reporting centres encompass a range of key organisations and groups in the heart of our communities, where people can report hate crime in a surrounding they feel comfortable in, and with people they feel comfortable talking to.

Hate crimes can be reported by calling 101, reporting online at www.report-it.org.uk or by visiting one of the local reporting centres.

For further information visit the hate crime information on our website.

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