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Hate crime

Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property because of their:

  • Race/ethnic origin
  • Religion
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Any other personal characteristic.

Types of hate crime

Hate crime can take many forms including:

  • Physical attacks - such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson
  • Threat of attack - including offensive letters, abusive or 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.

Challenging and reducing hate crime

Hate crime can inflict a greater psychological distress  on the victim than a non-bias crime and victims can suffer severe post-traumatic stress symptoms such as depression, anxiety and anger.

Violence and harassment can take place as part of hate crimes, often over sustained and prolonged  periods of time with long term physical and psychological effects on victims and families.

We believe that everyone has the right to live without fear of abuse, whether verbal, physical or sexual. Individuals are also entitled  to live in their homes without fearing damage to their property.

We will support victims to report incidents to enable us to gather evidence of abuse and ultimately to allow the courts to prosecute the people responsible.

Mate crime

When someone pretends to be your friend but treats you badly this is called Mate Crime. Mate Crime is against the law and the police will help you stop it.

It can take the form of verbal, physical or sexual abuse, theft, manipulation or online bullying.

Don't suffer in silence

Research says that much higher levels of hate crimes take place than are currently reported. As an example it is estimated that as much as 90% of homophobic crimes are not reported.

We are working to address this with relevant agencies, voluntary and partner organisations to help people report hate crime through Third Party Reporting Centres (link required).

Please come forward and report any hate crime you are being subjected to. Without your assistance we cannot stop the hate crime that is happening to you or begin to tackle the problem long term. As part of our commitment to dealing with hate crime, we have a sergeant in each of our neighbourhood policing units who acts as a single point of contact for hate crime.

By phone
Call 101 or in an emergency call 999
In person
Come to a local police station or a hate crime reporting centre.
Report online
The police service has launched a website, called True Vision, which allows you to report hate crime online