Hate crimes can be committed against a person or property, and are crimes which the victim or any other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards any aspect of a person’s identity, namely:
- Race or ethnicity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity
A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.
Hate crime incidents may involve:
- physical attacks
- verbal abuse
- domestic abuse
- damage to your property
A Hate Incident, which may or may not be a crime, is any incident that the victim or any person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards any aspect of a person’s identity.
Hate incidents can often escalate to crimes and as such the police are concerned about incidents in addition to crimes, and these should be reported. The police can only prosecute when the law is broken, but can work closely with partners and other organisations to try and prevent any escalation in seriousness.
By reporting hate crimes and hate incidents, you may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else.
If you feel that the incident you have witnessed is in need of a response immediately then you can contact the police by calling 999.
You can speak to the police in confidence, and do not have to provide your personal details, however any investigation is limited if the police cannot contact you. Contact can be made using the non-emergency number 101 or by visiting your local police station.
If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. However, you can only use this service if you have first registered with emergency SMS.
If the incident is not an emergency you can use the Hate Crime/Incident Reporting Form.