Racist criminals in south-east London have been given tougher punishments for being abusive.

Some 419 criminal sentences in London were 'uplifted' between January and April this year, with extended prison terms or longer community penalties.

Crimes which are eligible for an uplifted sentence are any that are motivated ‘wholly or partly’ by hostility based on perceived religion, race, sexual orientation or disability.

One prison sentence was doubled because a 20-year-old caught with knives in Woolwich shouted racial abuse at his carer.

Other examples include a 23-year-old man who was handed three months more in prison for racially abusing and physically attacking security guards escorting him from Thameside Prison to hospital after a seizure.

A 56-year-old woman was also handed an extra month on top of a four-month curfew for racially abusing a black woman in New Cross.

Claire Lindley, chief Crown prosecutor for CPS London South, said: "These longer sentences are a powerful way of sending the message that hate crime is viewed very seriously in the eyes of the law.

“I would encourage all victims to report hate crimes as we can and do make every effort to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable.”

The CPS has been highlighting hate crime and associated issues this week through their #hatecrimematters campaign.