The Home Office defines Hate Crime as any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by an offender’s hatred of someone because of their:
- Race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origin
- Gender or sexual identity
- Sexual orientation
Hate Crime can take many forms including:
Physical attacks such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes, arson
Threat of attack including offensive letters, abusive of obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded malicious complaints
Verbal abuse or insults, offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes and bullying at school or in the workplace.
The Crime & Disorder Act 1998 created a number of new racially and religiously aggravated offences.
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 introduced tougher sentences for offences motivated by hatred of the victims sexual orientation.
The Racial & Religious Hatred Act which came into effect in 2007 makes it a criminal offence to use threatening words or behaviour with the intention of stirring up hatred against any group of people because of their religious beliefs or their lack of religious beliefs.
(Resources Home Office)
Report Hate Crimes
Hate Crime is illegal and nobody should put up with being attacked, threatened, abused, or have their property damage because of another person’s hate. At last there is now more help and support for victims and witnesses of hate crime which makes it much easier to report these despicable crimes and to access help. If you are a victim of hate crime it is so important to report it otherwise it is likely that the crimes against you or your property may well continue.
If you are a victim of a hate crime there are some things you can do to assist with the investigation of this crime.
You may be upset, angry, in shock, hurt, but as soon as you are possibly able to report the crime to the Police, a Hate Incident Reporting Centre or contact the 24 hour helpline the Stop Hate Line. If you report it to the Police ask for the name and number of the officer you speak to and make a note of the time that you reported the incident. If you feel unable to report the incident then speak to someone for advice e.g. teacher, youth worker, mental health worker, community leader, etc.
Try and write down as many details of the incident as you can remember, such as the date and time and descriptions of anyone who was involved. If a vehicle was involved and you have the make, model, colour or registration number make a note of this as well.
If there is anyone around who saw what happened ask them if they would give their details, name, address, phone number etc., and if possible get them to write a statement of what they saw and sign the statement.
Don't touch or clear anything away as that may destroy vital evidence which could help in bringing the perpetrator to justice.
Look after yourself: You may find it difficult to be on your own and need your friends or family around you, you may feel you want the support of a Helpline or Counsellor. The Victim Support helpline can give you details of your nearest branch and other support can be found on this website or by contacting SupportLine Telephone Helpline on 01708 765200, or firstname.lastname@example.org Whether you choose to report the crime or not, don't feel isolated and alone with this and make sure you get as much support as possible.
Remember: the problem is not YOU, it is the person who has so much hate inside them who has the problem.
The above also applies to you if you are a witness of a Hate Crime, you too can report it and try and record as many details as possible. If you are willing to give your details to the victim and a signed statement that will be a tremendous help. As a witness you too may need help and support and someone to talk to about what you have seen.
Agencies providing advice, support and information
0800 555 111
Call anonymously with information about crime.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission Helpline:
Information and guidance on discrimination and human rights issues. For advice ring the Equality Advice and Support Service Helpline on 0808 800 0082 www.equalityadvisoryservice.com
020 7704 2040
London's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community safety charity. Advice and support to those affected by homophobic and transphobic violence.
SAMM (Support After Murder and Manslaughter):
0121 471 1200
Emotional support for families and friends bereaved through murder or manslaughter. Listening support is provided by volunteers who have lost a loved one through murder or manslaughter. Regional one to one telephone support.
Stop Hate Line:
24 hour helpline 0800 138 1625
Run by the charity Stop Hate UK for immediate advice and support. Anyone who is either a victim or a witness of a hate crime will be able to report the incident directly to the Helpline. The aim is to encourage the public to report incidents where they have been called names, physically hurt, or had their property damaged because of another person’s prejudice towards their race, faith, age, sexuality, gender or disability.
0845 303 0900
Help people cope with the effects of crime whether the crime is reported or not. Also give information on local victim support groups.
- Victim Support Scotland:
0845 603 9213
Helpline for anyone affected by crime regardless of whether a crime has been reported.
www.direct.gov.uk - Click on Crime, Justice and the Law - Government site with lots of information and advice.
www.direct.gov.uk/en/youngpeople - Click on Crime and Justice section - specifically aimed at young people - Government site with lots of information and advice.
www.neighbourhoodwatch.net - Aims to build secure confident communities, find your local group.
www.report-it.org.uk - True Vision: Police funded website designed to provide information about Hate crime and aimed at improving the service that Police provide to minority communities. Self reporting and information pack available as well as online facilities that allows you to report hate crime quickly to the Police.
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