Written question HL47: Lord Pearson of Rannoch 21-06-2017

Asked on: 21 June 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Lords
Her Majesty's Government whether they differentiate between (1) those who criticise a religion, and (2) those who insult its adherents, in their guidance, policies and other literature on hate speech; and if so, how.
Answered on: 03 July 2017

A crime that is motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity can be classed as a hate crime. Our hate crime laws recognise everyone's right to believe and practice their chosen religion, free from targeted abuse. This same right extends to those who have no religion and those targeted for intra-religious hostility.

The guidance to the application of our laws is covered in the Hate Crime Operational Guidance (attached) issued by the College of Policing in 2014 (http://report-it.org.uk/files/hate_crime_operational_guidance.pdf) which guides the police on the application of our laws.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has issued advice to prosecutors which is available at http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/racist_and_religious_crime

Hate Crime guidance (PDF Document, 1.37 MB)

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