The term 'hate crime' can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
These aspects of a person's identity are known as 'protected characteristics'. A hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property. The perpetrator can also be a friend, carer or acquaintance who exploits their relationship with the victim for financial gain or some other criminal purpose.
Our own performance data and bespoke sampling exercises help us to understand how we are responding to the challenges of hate crime prosecution. In addition, we make use of external research and reports from academics, parliament, the government and community stakeholder organisations to improve our understanding and awareness of hate crime, how it operates and its impact. The sections below provide a outline of some of the relevant work that we have taken account of in recent years.