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Know your rights guide

Hate crime

Find out what constitutes hate crime, and what to do if you've been affected by it.

Hate crime or hate incidents are acts of hostility towards you because of your ethnicity, religion, faith, disability, transgender identity or sexual orientation. You can make a report whether the hate was directed at you or you saw it happen to someone else. They could be your family members, your friends, someone you just met or someone you don’t know.

Hate crime can happen anywhere, it can happen in your home, on a bus, in a park or at school or university.

What are examples of hate crime?

People make judgements about you and attacked you because of those judgements. That is not acceptable in the UK. It can also be illegal and a crime to do so! It is your right to feel safe in your home, communities and in public areas.

There are many things that can happen to people that are unacceptable and these become a Hate Incident where they are done because someone has made judgements about you.

They can be:

  • being pushed, hassled or threatened
  • having something thrown at you or having something bad posted through your letter box
  • someone approaching you in a threatening manner
  • non-verbal offensive gestures or mimicry aimed at you
  • being spat at, beaten or kicked
  • being called rude names, made fun of or having mean jokes directed at you
  • your property being damaged or stolen being attacked by a neighbour
    arson or disputes with neighbours or
  • being bullied as a result of your disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

What can I do if I experience or witness hate crime?

If you experience any form of hate crime, it’s important to report your situation. Reporting your situation can help to ensure that the incident does not continue and helps the police to better respond to incidents of hate crime.

If your situation is an emergency, call the police at 999. This includes if you believe that your life or someone else’s life is in danger, you are being physically attacked, or if your attacker is nearby.

What if the incident involves the police?

You may make a complaint about your experience of a police staff member by contacting:

Independent Police Complaints Commission

www.ipcc.gov.uk
You may also get advice on your situation by contacting:

Stop Hate UK

0800 138 1625 (24hr helpline)

If I report it, what happens then?

When you report a hate crime, the police will take all the necessary steps to ensure that you are safe. They will come to see you, unless you would rather meet them at a police station or speak over the phone, and your details will be taken in a confidential manner. The police will listen to your account of what has happened and offer you the support of other organisations such as Victim Support, throughout the investigation. The police will also look at ways to stop the person from contacting you if necessary.

You will not be asked to speak to, confront or have direct contact with the person but you may be asked to:

  • Give a statement
  • Give any evidence that you may have such as mobile phone footage or CCTV, injuries or photographs
  • Give a victim impact statement that is; how you feel about what happened to you and how your life has been affected
  • Give evidence in court with the help of a Victim Support representative.

Any information you give about an incident could be important and may be related to a similar incident that has happened to someone else in your area.

The police may know the person and may be able to get evidence of the incident through mobile phone or CCTV footage. They may even be able to prevent the incident from escalating into more serious hate crimes. So please make sure you report it to someone.

What if I’m an asylum seeker and I don’t want to draw attention to myself?

Hate crimes and incidents are dealt with by your local police and have no impact on your asylum application. If someone tries to hurt you because of who you are or who they think you are, it is not your fault. The police will work with you to ensure that the investigation does not interrupt your asylum application appointments and details of your Hate Crime report will not be passed on to your case owner at the Home Office.

Also, reporting a hate incident will not affect your accommodation or housing support, however if you need safer accommodation because of your hate incident, you will be supported with this.

How do I report an incident of hate crime?

Victim Support

0300 303 1982
reporthate.victimsupport.org.uk/hate- crime

Which has a form for you to email in your preferred language if you prefer. Someone else can report the incident for you if you don’t want to make the report yourself. Any information about the incident can be helpful, even if you don’t know all the details.

Stop Hate UK

If you experience hate crime due to being transgender or due to your sexual orientation: 0808 801 0661

If you experience hate crime due to your disability, you can also contact:
0808 802 1155

Text: 07717 989 025.

If you require text relay if you are deaf, have a hearing or speech impairment, you may text: 18001 0800 138 1625.