Tag Archives: Hate Crime

Police set to use Artificial Intelligence to help predict spikes in hate crime

Following the news that the police service is setting up a new ‘Hate Lab’ using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help predict spikes in hate crime on the streets following Brexit, Andy Davies (consultant on police and intelligence services at SAS UK) has highlighted the importance of using data to mitigate preventable or predictable trends.

Davies has stressed the need for law enforcement to find new and innovative ways to make analytics and resulting insights accessible to officers. Ultimately, AI and data analytics has the power to help police do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

“Law enforcement operates in an increasingly complex environment, with investigators facing unprecedented amounts of data,” said Davies. “Social media has further complicated this environment in the last ten years with data being published online at an unmanageable rate. Clearly, the police are overwhelmed and overworked. The new ‘Hate Lab’ is no silver bullet for eliminating hate crime, but it’s a clear step in the right direction to mitigate preventable or predictable trends.”

ArtificialIntelligenceandData

Davies continued: “Making sense of this data and understanding the underlying connections is critical in any investigation or intelligence-development activity. Data analytics is already reviewing huge volumes of intelligence data rapidly so that police officers can cut through the noise and focus on real and emerging threats. AI and data analytics can help the police to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, so we need to find new and innovative ways to make analytics and resulting insights accessible to today’s officers.”

Davies referenced Gloucestershire Constabulary, which has employed analytics software to improve policing strategies, gain real-time insight into incidents and identify crime ‘hotspots’.

“Gloucestershire officers will now be able to draw together data from numerous systems and sources, including its electronic incident log, phone system, GPS-capable radios and demographic data from other sources. Using analytics, it will also be able to use the data available to identify crime ‘hotspots’, monitor trends, forecast future crime/incident levels offenders across the county and see a live breakdown of crime statistics.”

In conclusion, Davies told Risk Xtra: “It’s vital that the police service looks for every opportunity to operate more efficiently and use the latest data-driven tools in the fight against crime. By using data analytics, our police forces will be in an even better position to derive intelligence from multiple sources of potentially life-saving information.”

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CPS Report: ‘Conviction rate for hate crime now at an all-time high’

According to the Seventh Edition of the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) Hate Crimes and Crimes against Older People Report, published this morning, almost 85% of hate crime prosecutions now result in a conviction. As the number of cases referred to the CPS has also increased, so too has the proportion which are taken forward to court, in turn indicating that stronger cases are being prepared (almost 80% of hate crime referrals from the police result in a decision to prosecute).

Hate crime references any criminal offence committed against a person or property that’s motivated by hostility towards someone based on their disability, race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins, religion, gender (or gender identity), age or sexual orientation.

A new CPS Action Plan has also been published today. Its contents are aimed firmly at building on these improvements and focusing on the handling of disability hate crime cases where conviction rates have also increased but numbers of prosecutions haven’t risen as expected.

Alison Saunders: the Director of Public Prosecutions

Alison Saunders: the Director of Public Prosecutions

The proportion of successful outcomes of disability hate crime cases for 2013-2014 increased from 77.2% to 81.9%. However, the number of convictions fell slightly over the year from 494 to 470. Addressing this issue – and focusing on the CPS’ handling of these difficult cases – underpins the publication of the new Action Plan.

Identifying and recording elements of disability hate crime

The Action Plan includes a commitment to improve how the CPS identifies and records elements of disability hate crime, assures that cases are identified and prosecuted correctly and provides prosecutors with new tools for the job. The document recognises that disability hate crime exhibits unique features including violence and verbal abuse, but also more insidious or exploitative types of offending.

Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), commented: “It’s very reassuring to see that the hard work and effort we have undertaken to improve our performance on hate crime has seen such positive results. Not only has the volume of cases referred by the police increased on a general level, but the ‘decision to prosecute’ and conviction rates have also risen.”

Saunders continued: “Of course, I recognise that there’s more work to be done, most notably around disability hate crime. While I’m delighted to see a record high conviction rate and that the rate of cases we are charging is up to 80% from 72.4% last year, we will be working with the police service to encourage more disability hate crime cases to be referred to us and will really focus our attentions on the handling of these cases through the court system. I’m doing this through our new Disability Hate Crime Action Plan, which addresses where we must improve our handling of disability hate crime cases.”

In conclusion, the DPP explained: “Hate crimes can be particularly devastating to victims who have been targeted simply because of their race, their religion, their sexuality, gender, disability or age. These crimes display an ugly element of our society and one which it’s very important both the police service and prosecutors alike feel empowered to tackle such that they can bring offenders to justice.”

Further information included in the report

*The number of hate crime convictions increased from 10,794 to 11,915
*The hate crime conviction rate also increased from 82.6% to 84.7% (this conviction rate has been on an upward trend over the past six years)
*Of the 11,818 racially aggravated cases prosecuted last year, 85.2% resulted in convictions and 75.9% of all convictions involved guilty pleas
*In 2013-2014, 550 cases involving religiously aggravated hostility were prosecuted and 84.2% resulted in a conviction
*The proportion of homophobic and transphobic hate crime cases resulting in a guilty plea increased from 71.6% to 72.3% against a backdrop of an increase in the number of guilty pleas over the year from 785 to a total of 819
*There was an increase in the rate of decisions to charge for disability hate crime from 72.4% to 80%
*Since 2008-2009, the number of prosecutions for crimes against older people steadily increased from 1,004 to 2,922

Key actions in the Disability Hate Crime Action Plan

Disability hate crime can be more difficult to identify than other forms of hate crime as it often comes in the form of exploitation or crimes committed by those pretending to befriend the victim. The CPS has introduced – and is introducing – more training and guidance for prosecutors to ensure this incorporates the full range of offending.

The CPS wishes to improve the experience of victims of disability hate crime. On that basis, the CPS has been conducting detailed research to ensure that victims’ experiences are improved and that prosecutors have all the resources they need at their disposal in order to recognise – and prosecute – cases of disability hate crime.

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UK Government reports on “significant progress” in reducing hate crime

According to an official report, the coalition Government is making significant progress in the ongoing battle against hate crime.

The Hate Crime Action Plan documents the UK Government’s work to tackle hate crime.

A report on the progress made in the past twoyears has been published. Achievements include: better education of secondary school pupils, improved recording by police and work with major Internet service providers in the UK and USA to reduce the harm caused by hate material on the Internet.

The report also discusses the spike in anti-Muslim sentiment following the murder of Lee Rigby.

Crime prevention minister Norman Baker commented: “Hate crime has devastating consequences for victims and their families, and can divide communities. The coalition Government is determined to stamp out this ugly and unacceptable crime in all its forms.”

UK crime prevention minister Norman Baker MP

UK crime prevention minister Norman Baker MP

Baker continued: “We have already made significant progress ensuring transgender hatred is taken into account in the courts during sentencing, working closely with the police to encourage hate crime victims to come forward and encouraging Police and Crime Commissioners to tailor specific responses to local issues and priorities.”

The crime prevention minister went on to say: “I’m determined to keep pace as new issues emerge to ensure attitudes that foster hatred are challenged and the richness and diversity of British society is protected.”

To mark the launch of the report, the minister visited St Gabriel’s College in Camberwell which hosted an exhibition on prejudice created by the Anne Frank Trust (see the video below).

Government funding has helped the Anne Frank Trust to educate thousands of students and train peer guides to spread the message to their friends and encourage cohesion in their communities.

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