What is hate crime?
Hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic.
A hate crime could happen to a person because of:
- Race/ethnic origin
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
What to look for:
- Name calling
- Being ignored
- Being made fun of
- Verbal or physical attack
- Having your things stolen or damaged
- Being bullied
What are the types of hate crime?
Hate crime can take many forms including:
- Physical attacks - such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson
- Threat of attack - including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded, malicious complaints
- Verbal abuse or insults - offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace.
We publish case studies on our website which highlight real incidents of hate crimes that have been reported to the police and how they were dealt with.
How do I report a hate crime?
Call 101 or in an emergency call 999
Under reporting is a major issue in relation to all hate crimes. Research has established that much higher levels of hate crimes take place than are currently reported. As an example it is estimated that as much as 75% of all hate crimes are not reported.
Disability hate crime has very low reporting rates which are linked to broader social issues. We are working to address this with relevant agencies, voluntary and partner organisations.
Please come forward and report any hate crime you are being subjected to. Without your assistance we cannot stop the hate crime that is happening to you or begin to tackle the problem long term. As part of our commitment to dealing with hate crime, we have a sergeant in each of our neighbourhood policing units who acts as a single point of contact for hate crime.
Challenging and reducing hate crime
We know that hate crime inflicts a greater psychological distress on the victim than a non-bias crime and victims can suffer severe post-traumatic stress symptoms such as depression, anxiety and anger. These are some of the many reasons that hate crime receives a different approach than other non-hate motivated requests.
Violence and harassment take place as part of hate crimes, often over sustained and prolonged periods of time with long term physical and psychological effects on victims, children and families. For many this abuse may be verbal abuse received on a daily basis, intervention is required at this level before abuse escalates.
We believe that everyone has the right to live without fear of abuse, whether verbal, physical or sexual. Individuals are also entitled to live in their homes without fearing damage to their property.
We will support victims to report incidents to enable us to gather evidence of abuse and ultimately to allow the courts to prosecute the people responsible.