The Government’s top legal adviser has warned racists and antisemites they face tougher sentences.
Attorney General Michael Ellis said the “hate” element of the crime means there is a greater chance of an increased sentence for such offenders.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Ellis, who is himself Jewish, told MPs: “I have been appalled by recent examples of hate crime which are an utter disgrace.
“And I warn racists and antisemites alike that I know the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recognises the devastating impact that hate crime has upon victims of communities and is committed to bringing offenders to justice.
“This is evidenced by the continued rise in sentence uplifts – increases in sentence – recorded for hate crime, this year it reached the highest rate of nearly 80%.”
Responding to Conservative MP Ian Levy, who raised an attack in his Blyth Valley constituency, Mr Ellis also said: “Those people who are committing those offences need to understand their sentences have an 80% likelihood of being uplifted as a consequence of the hate element of their crime.
“We have seen apparently a 600% increase in anti-Semitic crimes recently, according to one media report.
“We recognise any form of hate crime against any group as obnoxious, it is antithetical to the interests of this country, it cannot be tolerated, the CPS recognises the devastating impact it has and everything will be done and continue to be done to check those offences.”
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick earlier this week pledged to protect the British Jewish community amid safety fears.
He told MPs that the Community Security Trust, a charity providing security and advice to Jewish people in Britain, had reported a 320% increase of anti-Semitic incidents in the last week – with the figure “likely to rise further” due to a delay in reporting.
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