§ Mr. Clappison
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what provisions exist for the recording of the incidence of offences motivated by hostility based on the victim's membership of a religious group; 
(2) what guidance he has given to the police and the Crown Prosecution Service regarding assaults and other offences motivated by hostility based on the victim's membership of a religious group; 
(3) what is his assessment of the prevalence of assaults and other offences motivated by hostility based on the victim's membership of a religious group. 
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
As my right hon. Friend made clear during the report stage of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, on 23 June 1998,Official Report, column 892, we believe that most—possibly almost all—cases of assault, and other offences, which appear to have a religious element will also have a racial element.
Whilst there is no specific procedure for recording religiously motivated crime, the police, under the racial incidents monitoring scheme, will record any incident in which it appears to the investigating officer that the complaint involves an element of racial motivation or any incident which includes an allegation of racial motivation made by any other person.
The Code of Practice for Crown prosecutors states that, provided there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, there will be a public interest factor in favour of prosecution where the offence was motivated by any form of discrimination against the victim, including where the offence was motivated by discrimination against the victim's religious beliefs. In addition, the Crown Prosecution Service has issued guidance to its staff on the racially aggravated offences contained in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Home Office guidance to the police on these offences also refers to religiously motivated crime. A copy of that guidance will be placed in the Library.374W
We undertook during the passage of the Crime and Disorder Act to monitor the effectiveness of the racially aggravated offences. In addition, the Home Office is commissioning research into the nature and extent of religious discrimination in England and Wales.