DORSET and Hampshire have the highest conviction rate for 'hate crimes' in the country.

According to the Attorney General's Office, 90.1 per cent of such offences which have been taken to court by the Crown Prosecution Service in the two counties resulted in a conviction during 2016/17.

The Government says this demonstrates "how seriously prosecutors take cases where there is hostility based on a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity".

Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP said: "One incident of hate crime is one too many and those responsible need to be brought to justice. I’d like to thank CPS Wessex for the fantastic job it’s doing to tackle hate crime in the region."

A prosecutor training programme in the region in 2016 saw the conviction rate for disability hate crime increased by 5.7 per cent to 86.4 per cent, and future training is planned in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The number of prosecutions and convictions for 'hate crimes' has been falling nationwide over the past few years, despite brief spikes in reported offences.