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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Rise in race crime prosecutions
The number of prosecutions for race-related crime rose by 21.3% in Kent last year, according to a new report.

Crown Prosecution Service figures show the number of defendants dealt with for race crimes in the county rose from 81 in 2001/2 to 104 in 2002/3.

The report shows 91 charges were made against people for the crimes compared to 75 the previous year.

Of the defendants, 73 pleaded guilty to the charges - a rise of 69.8% compared to 43 in 2001/2.

'Highest priority'

Elizabeth Howe, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Kent, said: "The CPS takes all these offences particularly seriously because they are motivated by discrimination and hate and represent an assault upon our diverse society.

"We shall continue to give them our highest priority and work closely alongside Kent Police and our communities to deal with these hate crimes through the courts wherever the evidence allows."

It is the fourth year in which the CPS has gathered information about racially aggravated offences under the Crime and Disorder Act.

The figures were published in the Racial Incident Monitoring Scheme Annual Report.

For the report, the police and CPS used the definition provided in the McPherson Report which states that "a racist incident is an incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person".




SEE ALSO:
Race cases more than double
14 Mar 03  |  England


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