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Online crime to be treated as seriously as real-world crime in new crackdown

ONLINE abuse will be treated as seriously as offline offences, Britain’s prosecution service said on Monday, in a tough new crackdown on handling hate crimes.

The rules were meant to encourage more people to come forward and press courts to impose longer sentences, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

“This is a crime that’s under-reported. Sometimes people feel that they just have to put up with it … That’s absolutely not the case,” Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, told the BBC.

The new advice was in response to the growth of social media, the CPS said. There have been several high-profile instances of successful prosecutions of people who had abused lawmakers and other public figures online.

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