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Hate Crime

If you have been  bullied, assaulted, harassed or verbally abused because you are different, then you may have been a victim of hate crime.

What is hate crime?

A hate crime is a criminal offence which has been perceived by the victim as having been motivated by some form of prejudice or hate.

Hate crimes and incidents can be motivated by prejudice about:

  • Race, skin colour, ethnic origin, nationality (including against gypsies and travellers)
  • Religion and faith (or lack of religious belief)
  • Gender identity (including resentment of transgender people, transsexuals and transvestites)
  • Sexual orientation (including homophobia)
  • Disability (including physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities and mental health issues)

We recognise that other personal characteristics can lead to incidents or crime motivated by prejudice, and we will not tolerate any form of hate incident or crime.

Crimes that are often committed as hate crimes are:

  • Physical attacks such as assaults
  • Vandalism, criminal damage, graffiti or arson
  • Verbal abuse or abusive gestures
  • Cyberbullying
  • Offensive letters or text messages (hate mail) or phone calls
  • Offensive leaflets and posters
  • Threats of an attack

If an incident has occurred which is motivated by hate or prejudice but is not necessarily a criminal offence, then it is known as a hate incident. Although hate incidents are not criminal offences, they are still a serious matter and should be reported to us.

What should you do if you see a hate crime?

  • Offer support for the victim. Whilst the incident is taking place and only if you feel safe to do so. Let the victim know they are not alone.
  • Understand. Console the victim after the event, show that you understand them, that they are not alone and that hate has no home in your community.
  • Tell the Police. If you witnessed a hate crime it is important to report the details, even if you don’t feel comfortable to report it at the time, you can report online later using the incident form below.

Report it

If you feel in immediate danger you should dial 999.

If you have been a victim of a hate crime, we would prefer to speak to you:

You can also report a hate crime:

Please don’t be worried about talking to us, we will always listen to you and do everything we can to help.

You do not have to be the victim to report an incident. If you see what you think is a hate crime happening, you should report it.

Further information

For a list of organisations set up specifically to offer support and advice for victims of hate crime go to the Hate Crime - Help and Support page.