Nobody should have to live with the fear and anxiety that hate crime can cause.
'Hate incidents' and 'hate crimes' are terms used to describe acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. They are motivated by hostility or prejudice based on real or presumed disability, race, religion, transgender or other gender identity, sexual orientation and other factors. They can also be based on someone’s appearance or a cultural group with which they identify. Hate crimes can be incidents against a person or property, and include materials posted online.
A national anti-hate crime campaign, #BetterThanThat, has been backed by the government and has been launched in response to the rise in incidents after the EU referendum. The campaign is open to all organisations willing to support the fight against hate crime.
The police and the Crown Prosecution Service take all hate crime very seriously and encourage that it be reported to them.
Some examples of hate incidents include:
- verbal abuse such as name-calling and offensive jokes
- bullying or intimidation
- physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
- threats of violence
- hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail
- online abuse, for example on social media
- displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters
- harm or damage to property such as your home, pet, or vehicle
- throwing rubbish into someone's garden
- malicious complaints, for example over parking, smells or noise
When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. A criminal offence is something that breaks the law. Some examples of hate crimes include:
- criminal damage
- sexual assault
- hate mail
Race and Religious Hate Crime
Racist and religious crime, based on someone's actual or perceived racial or ethnic origin, belief or faith, can be particularly hurtful to victims. These crimes can happen as a one-off or be part of a campaign of continued harassment and victimisation.
- Citizens Advice on Racist and Religious Hate Crime - Citizens Advice provides further information on racist and religious hate crime.
- CPS Policy on Prosecuting Racist & Religious Hate crimes - The Crown Prosecution Service sets out their policy and provides further information.
Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime
In the past, incidents against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people had been rarely reported and even more rarely prosecuted. Research studies suggest that victims of and witnesses to such incidents have very little confidence in the criminal justice system.
- Citizens Advice on Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime - Citizens Advice provides further information on homophobic and transphobic hate crime
- CPS policy on Prosecuting Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crimes - The Crown Prosecution Service sets out their policy and provides further information.
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.
- Citizens Advice on Disability Hate Crime - Citizens Advice provides further information on disability-related hate crime.
- CPS policy on prosecuting Disability Hate Crimes - The Crown Prosecution Service sets out their policy and provides further information.
Find out more
- True Vision offers guidance on reporting hate crime and hate incidents. If you do not wish to talk to anyone in person about the incident or wish to remain anonymous, there is an online form for reporting hate crime.
- You can also report hate crime and non-crime hate incidents to the police.
- Internet Hate Crime. True Vision also provide further information on internet Hate Crime.