What are hate crimes and incidents
Any crime where the victim or any other person perceives it was motivated by hostility or prejudice towards their identity is a hate crime. This includes crimes perceived to be motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender-identity.
A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or because they are transgender. Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is important to report to the police.
How to report hate crimes and incidents
If you are in immediate danger, you should call 999.
You can report a hate crime via the police non-emergency number 101; in person at your local police station or report online.
To report anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or report anonymously online via the Crimestoppers website.
Why should I report hate crime?
By reporting hate crime when it happens to you, you may be able to prevent these incidents from escalating or happening to someone else. You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it. Reporting makes a difference - to you, your friends, and your community.
Types of hate crime
Physical assault of any kind is an offence. If you’ve been a victim of physical assault you should report it.
Verbal abuse victims are often unclear whether an offence has been committed or believe there is little they can do. However, there are laws in place to protect you from verbal abuse. Even if you don’t know who verbally abused you, the information could still help how the police respond locally.
Incitement to hatred is when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. That could be in words, pictures, videos, music, and includes information posted on websites. Examples of this include:
- messages calling for violence against a specific person or group
- web pages that show pictures, videos or descriptions of violence against anyone due to their perceived differences
- chat forums where people ask other people to commit hate crimes against a specific person or group
Support is available
In Norfolk, Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care offer free, practical help, emotional support and with navigating the criminal justice system. You do not have to report your experience to the police to access this service.
True Vision have created a comprehensive list of support services operating nationally that can help, including some help specific protected characteristic groups. You can view this list of services here.