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Crime and Disorder Act 1998

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Part IIU.K. Criminal law

[F1Racially or religiously aggravated] offences: England and WalesE+W

Textual Amendments

F1Words in the cross-heading substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(2), 127(2) (with s. 42)

28 Meaning of “ [F2racially or religiously aggravated]”.E+W

(1)An offence is [F2racially or religiously aggravated] for the purposes of sections 29 to 32 below if—

(a)at the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, the offender demonstrates towards the victim of the offence hostility based on the victim’s membership (or presumed membership) of a [F3racial or religious group]; or

(b)the offence is motivated (wholly or partly) by hostility towards members of a [F3racial or religious group] based on their membership of that group.

(2)In subsection (1)(a) above—

  • membership”, in relation to a [F3racial or religious group], includes association with members of that group;

  • presumed” means presumed by the offender.

(3)It is immaterial for the purposes of paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) above whether or not the offender’s hostility is also based, to any extent, [F4on any other factor not mentioned in that paragraph.]

(4)In this section “racial group” means a group of persons defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins.

[F5(5)In this section “religious group” means a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief.]

Textual Amendments

F2Words in s. 28(1) and the sidenote substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(3)(a), 127(2) (with s. 42)

F3Words in s. 28(1)(2) substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(3)(b), 127(2) (with s. 42)

F4Words in s. 28(3) substituted (14.12.2001) for s. 28(3)(a)(b) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(3)(c), 127(2) (with s. 42)

F5S. 28(5) inserted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(4), 127(2) (with s. 42)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 28 applied (25.8.2000) by 2000 c. 6, ss. 153(3), 168(1)

C4S. 28 applied (28.3.2009 for specified purposes, otherwise 31.10.2009) by Armed Forces Act 2006 (c. 52), ss. 240(4), 383(2) (with ss. 271(1), 385); S.I. 2009/812, art. 3(a)(b); S.I. 2009/1167, art. 4

Commencement Information

I1S. 28 wholly in force; S. 28 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 121. In force at 30.9.1998 by S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1) (subject to savings in arts. 5-8)

29[F6Racially or religiously aggravated] assaults.E+W

(1)A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he commits—

(a)an offence under section 20 of the Offences Against the M1Person Act 1861 (malicious wounding or grievous bodily harm);

(b)an offence under section 47 of that Act (actual bodily harm);

[F7(ba)an offence under section 75A of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (strangulation or suffocation);] or

(c)common assault,

which is [F8racially or religiously aggravated] for the purposes of this section.

(2)A person guilty of an offence falling within subsection (1)(a) [F9, (b) or (ba)] above shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or to a fine, or to both.

(3)A person guilty of an offence falling within subsection (1)(c) above shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine, or to both.

Textual Amendments

F6Words in the sidenote to s. 28 substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(5)(a)(6)(a) (with s. 42)

F8Words in s. 29(1) substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(5)(b)(6)(a) (with s. 42)

Commencement Information

I2S. 29 wholly in force; S. 29 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 121. In force at 30.9.1998 by S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1) (subject to savings in arts. 5-8)

Marginal Citations

30[F10Racially or religiously aggravated] criminal damage.E+W

(1)A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he commits an offence under section 1(1) of the M2Criminal Damage Act 1971 (destroying or damaging property belonging to another) which is [F11racially or religiously aggravated] for the purposes of this section.

(2)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years or to a fine, or to both.

(3)For the purposes of this section, section 28(1)(a) above shall have effect as if the person to whom the property belongs or is treated as belonging for the purposes of that Act were the victim of the offence.

Textual Amendments

F10Words in the sidenote to s. 30 substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(5)(a)(6)(b) (with s. 42)

F11Words in s. 30(1) substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(5)(b)(6)(b) (with s. 42)

Commencement Information

I3S. 30 wholly in force; S. 30 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 121. In force at 30.9.1998 by S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1) (subject to savings in arts. 5-8)

Marginal Citations

31[F12Racially or religiously aggravated] public order offences.E+W

(1)A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he commits—

(a)an offence under section 4 of the M3Public Order Act 1986 (fear or provocation of violence);

(b)an offence under section 4A of that Act (intentional harassment, alarm or distress); or

(c)an offence under section 5 of that Act (harassment, alarm or distress),

which is [F13racially or religiously aggravated] for the purposes of this section.

(2)F14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)F14. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)A person guilty of an offence falling within subsection (1)(a) or (b) above shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine, or to both.

(5)A person guilty of an offence falling within subsection (1)(c) above shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

(6)If, on the trial on indictment of a person charged with an offence falling within subsection (1)(a) or (b) above, the jury find him not guilty of the offence charged, they may find him guilty of the basic offence mentioned in that provision.

(7)For the purposes of subsection (1)(c) above, section 28(1)(a) above shall have effect as if the person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress were the victim of the offence.

Textual Amendments

F12Words in the sidenote to s. 31 substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(5)(a)(6)(c) (with s. 42)

F13Words in s. 31(1) substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(5)(b)(6)(c) (with s. 42)

Commencement Information

I4S. 31 wholly in force; S. 31 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 121. In force at 30.9.1998 by S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1) (subject to savings in arts. 5-8)

Marginal Citations

32[F15Racially or religiously aggravated] harassment etc.E+W

(1)A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he commits—

(a)an offence under section 2 [F16or 2A] of the M4Protection from Harassment Act 1997 ([F17offences of harassment and stalking]); or

(b)an offence under section 4 [F18or 4A] of that Act (putting people in fear of violence [F19and stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress]),

which is [F20racially or religiously aggravated] for the purposes of this section.

F21(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)A person guilty of an offence falling within subsection (1)(a) above shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine, or to both.

(4)A person guilty of an offence falling within subsection (1)(b) above shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding [F22 14 years ] or to a fine, or to both.

(5)If, on the trial on indictment of a person charged with an offence falling within subsection (1)(a) above, the jury find him not guilty of the offence charged, they may find him guilty of [F23either basic offence] mentioned in that provision.

(6)If, on the trial on indictment of a person charged with an offence falling within subsection (1)(b) above, the jury find him not guilty of the offence charged, they may find him guilty of an offence falling within subsection (1)(a) above.

(7)F24. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F15Words in the sidenote to s. 32 substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(5)(a)(6)(d), 127(2) (with s. 42)

F20Words in s. 32(1) substituted (14.12.2001) by 2001 c. 24, ss. 39(5)(b)(6)(d), 127(2) (with s. 42)

F22Words in s. 32(4)(b) substituted (31.1.2017 for specified purposes, 3.4.2017 in so far as not already in force) by Policing and Crime Act 2017 (c. 3), ss. 175(2), 183(1)(5)(e) (with s. 175(3)); S.I. 2017/399, reg. 2, Sch. para. 35

Commencement Information

I5S. 32 wholly in force; S. 32 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 121. In force at 30.9.1998 by S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1) (subject to savings in arts. 5-8)

Marginal Citations

Racially-aggravated offences: ScotlandS

33 Racially-aggravated offences.S

After section 50 of the M5Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 there shall be inserted the following section—

Racially-aggravated harassmentS
50A Racially-aggravated harassment.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he—

(a)pursues a racially-aggravated course of conduct which amounts to harassment of a person and—

(i)is intended to amount to harassment of that person; or

(ii)occurs in circumstances where it would appear to a reasonable person that it would amount to harassment of that person; or

(b)acts in a manner which is racially aggravated and which causes, or is intended to cause, a person alarm or distress.

(2)For the purposes of this section a course of conduct or an action is racially aggravated if—

(a)immediately before, during or immediately after carrying out the course of conduct or action the offender evinces towards the person affected malice and ill-will based on that person’s membership (or presumed membership) of a racial group; or

(b)the course of conduct or action is motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards members of a racial group based on their membership of that group.

(3)In subsection (2)(a) above—

  • membership”, in relation to a racial group, includes association with members of that group;

  • presumed” means presumed by the offender.

(4)It is immaterial for the purposes of paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2) above whether or not the offender’s malice and ill-will is also based, to any extent, on—

(a)the fact or presumption that any person or group of persons belongs to any religious group; or

(b)any other factor not mentioned in that paragraph.

(5)A person who is guilty of an offence under this section shall—

(a)on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both such fine and such imprisonment; and

(b)on conviction on indictment, be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven years, or both such fine and such imprisonment.

(6)In this section—

  • conduct” includes speech;

  • “harassment” of a person includes causing the person alarm or distress;

  • racial group” means a group of persons defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins,

and a course of conduct must involve conduct on at least two occasions.

Commencement Information

I6S. 33 wholly in force; S. 33 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 121. In force at 30.9.1998 by S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1) (subject to savings in arts. 5-8)

Marginal Citations

MiscellaneousE+W+N.I.

34 Abolition of rebuttable presumption that a child is doli incapax.E+W

The rebuttable presumption of criminal law that a child aged 10 or over is incapable of committing an offence is hereby abolished.

Commencement Information

I7S. 34 wholly in force; S. 34 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 121. In force at 30.9.1998 by S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1) (subject to savings in arts. 5-8)

35 Effect of child’s silence at trial.E+W

F25. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

36 Abolition of death penalty for treason and piracy.E+W+N.I.

(1)In section I of the M6Treason Act (Ireland) 1537 (practising any harm etc. to, or slandering, the King, Queen or heirs apparent punishable as high treason), for the words “have and suffer such pains of death and” there shall be substituted the words “ be liable to imprisonment for life and to such ”.

(2)In the following enactments, namely—

(a)section II of the M7Crown of Ireland Act 1542 (occasioning disturbance etc. to the crown of Ireland punishable as high treason);

(b)section XII of the M8Act of Supremacy (Ireland) 1560 (penalties for maintaining or defending foreign authority);

(c)section 3 of the M9Treason Act 1702 (endeavouring to hinder the succession to the Crown etc. punishable as high treason);

(d)section I of the M10Treason Act (Ireland) 1703 (which makes corresponding provision),

for the words “suffer pains of death” there shall be substituted the words “ be liable to imprisonment for life ”.

F26(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)In section 1 of the M11Treason Act 1814 (form of sentence in case of high treason), for the words “such person shall be hanged by the neck until such person be dead”, there shall be substituted the words “ such person shall be liable to imprisonment for life ”.

(5)In section 2 of the M12Piracy Act 1837 (punishment of piracy when murder is attempted), for the words “and being convicted thereof shall suffer death” there shall be substituted the words “ and being convicted thereof shall be liable to imprisonment for life ”.

F26(6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

F26S. 36(3)(6) repealed (21.7.2008) by Statute Law (Repeals) Act 2008 (c. 12), s. 1(1), Sch. 1 Pt. 3

Commencement Information

I8S. 36 wholly in force; s. 36 not in force at Royal Assent, see s. 121; s. 36 in force at 30.9.1998 by S.I. 1998/2327, art. 2(1) (subject to savings in arts. 5-8)

Marginal Citations

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