Service (CPS) has reported a 100% rise in the number of successful homophobic defendant prosecutions in the 2 years from 2006, Stonewall Cymru revealed at their annual conference in Llandudno.
Statistics released by the four Welsh police forces reveal that although there has not been a significant increase in reporting to the police of homophobic crime the number of cases taken up by the CPS has been rising steadily.
Chris Woolley, Group Chair for the Wales CPS, said, “The 100% rise in successful prosecutions is excellent news for the service and lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people in Wales. These statistics show we are moving in the right direction although we are still some way short of ensuring that all lesbian, gay and bisexual people feel confident enough to report these very damaging crimes. But our work will go on with our partners in the police and Stonewall Cymru to improve the conditions for lesbian, gay and bisexual people to come forward.”
The landscape for victims and witnesses has changed significantly in the last few years with specialist Witness Care Units being established across Wales. Now needs assessments are carried out with all victims and witnesses and the Prosecution can apply to the court for special measures which could involve anonymity being protected or evidence being given by video link.
The Wales CPS has also recently joined the Stonewall Cymru Diversity Champions workplace programme. Nearly 500 British organisations from across all sectors in business and public service work with Stonewall, and each other, to develop diversity and good practice for sexual orientation in the workplace. ‘People perform best when they can be themselves.’ This was shown to be true in a survey last year of lesbian, gay and bisexual people across the UK who said that they were more motivated to work and achieved more if the workplace ethos was actively inclusive of them.
Jenny Porter Community Liaison Officer for Stonewall Cymru said, “This is good news for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales. The CPS joining the Stonewall Cymru Diversity Champions programme demonstrates a commitment to achieving an inclusive workplace for lesbian, gay and bisexual people and the 100% rise in successful homophobic defendant prosecutions shows a tremendous achievement since 2006.
“I hope that this great news will encourage lesbian, gay and bisexual people across Wales to report homophobic incidents to the police, and to have confidence in the Criminal Justice System that they will follow through to the end.”
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