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Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
First figures for gay hate crime
Gay men at Pride in London
The CPS says it supports this year's Gay Pride event in Hull
The first set of figures for homophobic crimes in East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire have been released by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Between April 2004 and March 2005, the CPS prosecuted five cases with a homophobic element in the Humberside Police force area.

Four of those resulted in guilty pleas. One was dismissed as no case to answer.

A CPS spokesman said: "Prosecutions of this kind are still rare in Humberside, but the vast majority are successful."

Most homophobic crimes were offences against the person, followed by public order offences.

Giving evidence as a victim or witness in any crime is difficult, but particularly so for people who may not want their private lives exposed in court
Humberside Chief Crown Prosector Nigel Cowgill

Humberside Chief Crown Prosector Nigel Cowgill said: "I hope victims of homophobic crimes have enough confidence in the criminal justice system to continue to come forward and report them.

"Giving evidence as a victim or witness in any crime is difficult, but particularly so for people who may not want their private lives exposed in court.

"We know that nationally 25% of homophobic cases are discontinued because the victim refused to give evidence, retracted or failed to attend court.

"Since the launch of the Witness Care Unit in Hull last year, we are better placed than ever before to support victims and witnesses and to respond to their concerns."

Nationally, the CPS prosecuted 317 cases it identified as having a homophobic element.

Of these, 190 resulted in a guilty plea and a further 34 resulted in conviction after trial. The conviction rate was 71%.

Anyone wanting information on CPS policy for prosecuting homophobic hate crimes can visit the CPS stand at the Hull Pride 2005 event in Queen's Gardens on Sunday 14 August.


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