Hate Crime: Prosecutions

Attorney General written question – answered on 16th June 2021.

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Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald SNP Deputy Leader, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities)

To ask the Attorney General, what steps she is taking to ensure the prosecution of people whose acts towards fellow passengers on domestic flights are perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on disability or perceived disability.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Attorney-General

Courts in the United Kingdom have the power to deal with offences which are committed on board any aircraft whilst on the ground or in the air over the United Kingdom, and on “British-controlled aircraft” whilst “in flight” outside United Kingdom airspace. In such instances, as with any crime, the CPS will prosecute cases that are referred to it by the police and other law enforcement agencies where the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors is met.

The Code makes it clear that where an offence involves hostility or prejudice based upon race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, gender or age, it is more likely that a prosecution will be required in the public interest. Where a crime is found by a court to involve hostility based on a disability, this will be an aggravating factor in the sentence and the court must openly state the crime involved this hostility.

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