Hate incidents and hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.
For example, you may have been verbally abused by someone in the street because you’re disabled or someone thought you were gay.
If you have experienced or witnessed a hate incident it is natural to be angry or worried about taking things further. It’s important to report incidents, so you can get help with the personal and practical problems caused by hate incidents. Report everything! No incident is too small. When major incidents happen, they often follow minor ones that were not reported.
You can report to the police, Shropshire Council or through Citizens Advice Shropshire over adviceline or at any of our locations.
What are hate incidents?
Something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:
- transgender identity
- sexual orientation
This means that if you believe something is a hate incident it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to. All police forces record hate incidents based on these five personal characteristics.
Click here to find out more: hate crime leaflet.
When is a hate incident also a hate crime?
Any criminal offence can be a hate crime if it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation.
When something is classed as a hate crime, the judge can impose a tougher sentence on the offender under the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
Examples of hate crimes
- criminal damage
- sexual assault
- hate mail
- causing harassment, alarm or distress
How to report a hate incident or hate crime
In an emergency call 999
Report it to the police online or call 101.
Call victim support on 01905 726 896 – you do not need to give your name
Make sure you state clearly that you feel it is a hate crime/incident if you speak to someone to report it.
If you wish to report a hate crime or incident but don’t want your information to go to your local police force, use this form and make sure you tick ‘no’ when asked ‘Are you willing to give your details to the Police?’
Your report will be logged as a statistic on a national database and your local police will not be able to contact you.