Hate Crime What is it?

A Hate Incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someones prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.

If you, or anyone you know, has been called names, been bullied or had anything happen to them that you think may be because of one of these factors, then you should report this as a hate incident. Even if you dont want the incident to be investigated, it is important that the police know about it, so that they can build up a picture of how many incidents are happening and where. This information can help police investigating other hate incidents.

Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but those that do become hate crimes. The Association of Chief Police Officers and the CPS have agreed a common definition of hate crime: "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."

Types of Hate Crime

Race and religious hate crime

Racist and religious crime is particularly hurtful to victims as they are being targeted solely because of their personal identity, their actual or perceived racial or ethnic origin, belief or faith. These crimes can happen randomly or be part of a campaign of continued harassment and victimisation. We will not tolerate such crime.

You can read the CPS Policy on Prosecuting Racist & Religious Hate crimes in a number of
languages
here.

Homophobic and transphobic hate crime

In the past, incidents against lesbian, gay, bisexual people or transgender people, have been rarely reported and even more rarely prosecuted. Research studies suggest that victims of, or witnesses to, such incidents have very little confidence in the criminal justice system. The CPS is committed to addressing this problem, ensuring crimes against our LGBT communities are tackled properly.

You can read the CPS policy on Prosecuting Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crimes here.

Disability hate crime

Feeling and being unsafe through violence, harassment or negative stereotyping has a significant  impact on disabled people's sense of security and wellbeing. It also impacts significantly on their ability to participate both socially and economically in their communities. The CPS takes disability hate crime seriously.

You can read the CPS policy on prosecuting Disability Hate Crimes here and there is an Easy Read version available here

Crimes against older people

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure and to live free from the fear of crime. We know that feeling and being unsafe have significant negative impacts on older people's health and sense of well-being. Our policy, Prosecuting Crimes Against Older People, makes clear to older people, their families, communities and the general public that the CPS understands the serious implications of this type of crime. You can read the CPS Policy on Prosecuting Crimes against Older People here.

Has it happened to you?

If so, this could be a hate crime.

The police and the Crown Prosecution Service take all hate crime very seriously. We know that lots of victims of hate crime dont tell anyone what has happened to them. This might be because they think they wont be taken seriously. Or it might be because they dont realise that what is happening to them is a crime.

All police forces would want you to report crimes and they take all reports of crime very seriously. But, if it could be a hate crime, the police will take it even more seriously. This is because all people are entitled to live their lives free from bullying and harassment. Dealing with hate crimes is important to protect the rights of all members of society.

How do you report it?

You can report a crime in several ways:

  • if it's an emergency and the crime is still taking place, call 999 and ask for the police
  • if it's not an emergency, do not call 999 as this could hold up genuine emergency calls. This does not mean the crime is not important - it just helps the police to prioritise their resources. Many police forces have a non-emergency number, so you can call that instead.
  • you can also drop in at your local police station and report the crime there. You can find the address and telephone number in the local telephone directory or on the internet (see the link to your local police force website at the side of the page).
  • you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you want to remain anonymous.
  • Third Party Reporting Centres are a safe neutral location within the community where people can report hate crime or hate incidents without having to contact the Police directly. Anybody can use this facility regardless of whether they are a victim, witness, or just someone who is aware of information that needs to be reported. You can report incidents at a Third Party Reporting Centre even if you dont want the police to investigate it.Trained staff are based at the centres to assist people with the completion of the reporting forms or alternatively you can pick up a form from these locations, which come with pre-paid envelopes, so the information can be posted back when complete.


If you are a victim of hate crime you can contact 'third party reporting centres' across the North East. North East Victim Support can offer you support, give you details of specialist support agencies, and give you further information about Third Party Reporting Centres.