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April 20, 2009

IconHate crime convictions double in Wales

Homophobic hate crime convictions in Wales have almost doubled since 2006, according to the latest official figures.

Statistics from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reveals that while there has not been a significant increase in the number of homophobic hate crimes reported to the police, more of the incidents reported are leading to successful prosecutions.

There were 58 successful prosecutions in 2008, compared to 29 in 2006.

Jenny Porter, community liaison officer for Stonewall Cymru told the BBC: “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.”

Since 2005 people reporting homophobic hate crimes have been able to use specialist witness care units which provide practical help and moral support to victims and witnesses.

The CPS can also apply to the court for special measures, including the protection of anonymity and the option of giving evidence by video link.

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Milly Shaw

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