Hate crime and harassment
What is hate crime?
Hate crime is defined as any incident that is perceived by the victim (or any other person) as being motivated by prejudice or hate towards an individual’s actual or perceived social identity.
Social identities include:
- gender identity
- race, ethnicity or nationality
- religion, faith or belief
- sexual orientation
Hate crimes and incidents include:
- physical attacks
- intimidating or threatening behaviour
- offensive letters, leaflets and posters
- verbal abuse
- bullying at school or in the workplace
What is harassment?
Intimidation or harassment is a personalised form of anti-social behaviour, specifically aimed at particular individuals. It is often hate-related and typically involves repeated incidents. Harassment can range from verbal or physical abuse to attacks on property. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 makes it a criminal (and civil) offence to harass.
Hate crimes and harassment can have a devastating effect on victims, their quality of life and on their community.
What can I do if I am the victim of a hate crime?
If you believe you have been a victim of a hate crime we encourage you to report it. People who come forward to report hate crime are the key to stopping it happening again. All hate incidents, however minor they may appear, should be reported, even small pieces of evidence, like the time and place of the incident, might tie in with other reports. They may help prevent future incidents as this will help local organisations and the police to monitor the situation, build up patterns of behaviour, identify hotspots and gain a better understanding of hate crime.
Who can I report hate crimes to?
- Police – at your nearest police station or to your local Safer Neighbourhood Team
- Council – you can report hate crimes in confidence to the your local Council
- Housing – you can report hate crimes to your Housing Officer
What will happen once I report an incident?
The incident will be recorded and an investigation will take place. We will also look into taking appropriate actions against the perpetrator(s) and offering the victim(s) relevant support.