West Midlands hate crime prosecutions falling

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The number of hate crime prosecutions in the West Midlands fell by 10% last year, according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The CPS said it prosecuted 1,417 cases of hate crime in 2010/11, with a conviction rate of 83% - a rise of 6%.

Hate crime included incidents where race, religion, sexual orientation or disability were a factor.

The CPS said the drop was "encouraging" but could be due to fewer crimes being reported.

Peter Tooke, from the CPS, said: "We are concerned that much hate crime is never reported to the police, particularly where the victim is disabled or a member of a Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community."

He said the CPS would take special measures where victims or witnesses felt vulnerable or intimidated about giving evidence.

These included giving evidence from behind a screen or from another room via a TV link.

Racist and religious crime accounted for 1,237 of the prosecutions in 2010/11, 113 were for homophobic or transphobic crime, and 67 involved disability hate crime.

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