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Hate Crime

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

We know that hate crimes and incidents can have a serious impact on victims and their quality of life. It has a negative impact on the communities in which we live. We are committed to stamping out all incidents and crimes motivated by prejudice and hate. Victims will always be treated professionally and sympathetically by our staff.

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

Reporting hate incidents and hate crimes provides valuable information to the police. You may have information that can lead to the identification, arrest and prosecution of an offender. Evidence that a crime has been aggravated by prejudice can lead to an increased sentence at court.

If you feel you are becoming a victim of hate crime we would prefer to speak to you on the phone (by calling us on 101) or in person at a police station.

To report a hate crime fill in the Report a crime or incident form.

Please note: You do not have to be the victim to report an incident. If you see things like this happening you should take responsibility and report it to help prevent these incidents from occurring in our communities in the future.

Useful contacts

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.