I'm Eleanor Farrow, a Senior Policy Advisor with the CPS, working on Hate Crime Policy. Here are my reflections and key takeaways from the National Hate Crime Conference 2023, which I attended last month. 

National hate crime conference 2023

Attendees of the hate crime conference stood on the stairs

This year, we held the first in-person joint criminal justice hate crime conference since 2019. It was held over two days in Newcastle and brought together representatives, practitioners and academics from key stakeholder and community groups from across the country.

In his opening remarks to the conference, Lionel Idan, the CPS National Hate Crime Lead and Chief Crown Prosecutor for London South, emphasised the importance of agencies and community groups working together in strong partnership to tackle hate crime across all strands.

A focus on disability hate crime 

During a session on disability hate crime, Lionel referenced positive data on increasing rates of sentence uplifts but acknowledged further improvements are needed. Speaker Andrew Haigh was particularly articulate and insightful describing the daily challenges of living with a disability. He highlighted the importance of the need for criminal justice agencies to build and retain the trust of the disabled community.

Reflecting on 30 years since the murder of Stephen Lawrence 

Lionel Idan with Dr Neville Lawrence, Stephen Lawrence’s father

The final conference session marked 30 years since the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. Dr Neville Lawrence, Stephen Lawrence’s father, spoke about the ongoing impact of losing his eldest son and his determination to seek change. 

Other conference workshops included CPS led sessions on case file quality, supporting victims and joint working (led by Sonia Chakrabarti, District Crown Prosecutor CPS Direct) as well as hate crime in football (led by Douglas Mackay, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands, CPS Sports Lead).

At the conference the CPS and Police National Leads on hate crime confirmed their shared intention to agree a joint statement and action plan on hate crime for 2023. This will be published later in the year.