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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

March 23, 2010: Homophobic Hatred: New Offence

People who intentionally stir up homophobic hatred could face up to seven years in prison under a new criminal offence introduced today. The offences extend to England and Wales.

The new law of inciting hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation is a key part of the Government’s strategy to ensure that people are not subjected to bullying and discrimination as a result of their sexuality.

As with the offences of stirring up racial or religious hatred, prosecution for the offences requires the consent of the Attorney General.. The stirring up of hatred should not be confused with the incitement to violence or other offences such as harassment or criminal damage.

Justice Minister and Deputy Women and Equality Minister Maria Eagle said:

‘People must be able to live their lives without fear of persecution or threats - that is why we have introduced this new law. Intentionally stirring up hatred because of sexual orientation will not be tolerated. Such behaviour is never justified or acceptable and the Government is determined to tackle it.'

‘This is not about stifling artistic creativity or criminalising comedians for making jokes that are not seen to be politically correct. The Government is not aware, for example, of any programme currently being broadcast on mainstream TV or radio which would be affected by this law.’

The new offence will cover words, behaviour or material which is threatening in nature, and which is intended to stir up hatred against people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual. The law will not prevent legitimate free speech or debate, or expressions of religious belief.

Stonewall Chief Executive, Ben Summerskill, said:

‘We’re delighted that incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation can now finally be tackled effectively by the criminal law, in a similar way to hatred based on race or religion. When campaigning for this legal change, Stonewall uncovered a range of extreme websites and material stirring up anti-gay hatred. This new legislation will send a strong positive signal, encouraging more lesbian and gay people to report hate incidents. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are entitled to live without fear like everyone else.’

The Government was provided with clear evidence that hatred is being stirred up against groups on the basis of their sexual orientation. Tackling homophobic hatred is a Government commitment that will remain a top priority. This new offence will complement the existing offences of inciting hatred on racial and religious grounds. Introducing these laws will help stamp out such behaviour.