PROSECUTORS in the area have been praised by the Solicitor General for achieving the highest conviction rate in the country.
Robert Buckland QC, the Solicitor General, spoke to The News ahead of a visit with CPS Wessex today.
He applauded the prosecutors’ achievement of securing 90.1 per cent of convictions in all hate crime cases across the CPS area, including Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Dorset, and Wiltshire.
Mr Buckland, who is set to meet with the CPS today, said: ‘They’ve got just over 90 per cent convictions last year, which is a very good result.’
He is meeting with the hate crime panel in Winchester and Salisbury as they review past cases.
‘I wanted to see that process close at hand and to see what they’re doing right and help spread that to other areas,’ he said.
Mr Buckland also said it was good that more cases were coming through as it showed more crimes were being detected.
And he said people should not be worried about criminalising ‘free speech and thought’.
‘The word crime is there for a good reason, we’re not talking people with strong opinions,’ he said.
‘This is when it tips over to criminality and affects people, sometimes their physical wellbeing.’
Joanne Jakymec, chief crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex, previously spoke out about the high conviction rate.