Reporting Hate Crime, Don't Suffer Alone.
What is a hate crime and a hate incident?
A hate crime is defined as 'Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.'
A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police.
Evidence of the hate element is not a requirement. You do not need to personally perceive the incident to be hate related. It would be enough if another person, a witness or even a police officer thought that the incident was hate related.
Types of Hate Crime
Hate crime can fall into one of three main types: physical assault, verbal abuse and incitement to hatred.
1. Physical Assault
Physical assault of any kind is an offence. If you’ve been a victim of physical assault you should report it. Depending on the level of the violence used, a perpetrator may be charged with common assault, actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.
2. Verbal Abuse
Verbal abuse, threats or name-calling can be a common and extremely unpleasant experience for minority groups.
Victims of verbal abuse are often unclear whether an offence has been committed or believe there is little they can do. However, there are laws in place to protect you from verbal abuse.
If you’ve been the victim of verbal abuse we urge you to talk to the police about it.
Even if you don’t know who verbally abused you, the information could still help us to improve how we police the area where the abuse took place.
3. Incitement to Hatred
The offence of incitement to hatred occurs when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. That could be in words, pictures, videos, music, and includes information posted on websites.
Hate content may include:
- Messages calling for violence against a specific person or group;
- Web pages that show pictures, videos or descriptions of violence against anyone due to their perceived differences;
- Chat forums where people ask other people to commit hate crimes against a specific person or group.
Is it an emergency?
Does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon? Is someone in immediate danger? Do you need support right away? If so, please call 999 now. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you can use their text-phone service 18000 or text them on 999 if you have pre-registered with the emergency SMS service.
If you are a victim or a witness to a hate crime, there are a number of ways that you can report it.
True Vision is a national police scheme to help victims report hate crime online. Average completion time is 15 minutes.
Call 101, The national, non-emergency telephone number is staffed 24/7 to give you support and advice.
3. Visiting a Police Station
If you would prefer to speak to an officer in person, the local police can provide a safe and comfortable environment at any of their police stations.
Reporting hate material found online
If you've seen something on a website or social media that promotes hatred or violence against a particular group, use their online form to report it. Average completion time is 15 minutes.