Prosecutors have been issued with updated guidance on dealing with hate crime cases amid rising volumes of reports to the police.
A hate crime is an offence where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or shows hostility towards the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
Mishcon de Reya, which has offices in London and New York, said today's guidance is a 'big step in the right direction'.
Legal director Emma Woollcott said the greatest challenge, however, is ensuring proactive enforcement of the laws, and of social media companies' own policies against online abuse, on the front line.
She warned: 'There is no point having such guidance and standards if they are not properly policed, and if essential data is lost by slow and ineffective responses from social media platforms. Victims and their advisers must act quickly and persistently to ensure that perpetrators are identified and brought to justice.'
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