On Thursday 14 September, I was able to ask the Solicitor General what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the level of prosecutions for hate crime towards EU citizens.
A number of groups, such as Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI), have told me they have seen an increase in reported hate crimes against EU citizens living in the UK since the EU referendum last June. I was pleased that the Solicitor General recognises the need to tackle online hate crime, and I look forward to hearing what work the government and police will do in this area.
It is important that all Bristol residents are able to have confidence that their safety is valued, and that the law will protect them. If you are the victim of a hate crime in Bristol of any kind, please report it to Avon and Somerset Police. You can find more information on their website at https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/hatecrime.
6. What assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the level of prosecutions for hate crime towards EU citizens.
The Solicitor General (Robert Buckland)
The Crown Prosecution Service does not disaggregate its data by victims’ nationalities, but it has a strong record in tackling racially and religiously aggravated hate crime. In 2015-16, there were just over 13,000 prosecutions for this type of hate crime. That was 84% of total hate-crime prosecutions, showing a 1.9% increase on the previous year.
I am grateful for that response, but what I really need to know is what steps the Solicitor General will take to reassure my constituents, who tell me of increased hate crime directed at EU citizens. Local organisations that tackle hate crime, such as SARI—Stand Against Racism & Inequality—tell me the same thing. What will he be doing to reassure my constituents that their safety is valued and that the law will protect them?
You can watch the exchange below: