Hate Crime

What is a Hate Crime? 

A Hate Crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on the following:

  • a person‚Äôs¬†race¬†or perceived race, or any racial group or ethnic background including countries within the UK and Gypsy and Traveller groups;
  • a person‚Äôs¬†religion¬†or perceived religion, or any religious group including those who have no faith;
  • a person‚Äôs¬†sexual orientation¬†or perceived sexual orientation;
  • a person‚Äôs¬†disability¬†or perceived disability, including physical disability, learning disability and mental health or developmental disorders; and
  • a person who is¬†transgender¬†or perceived to be transgender, including people who are transsexual, transgender and cross dressers

What is a non-crime Hate Incident?

A Hate Incident is any non-crime incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a persons disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity or perceived disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Examples of Hate crimes and non-crime hate incidents include:

  • Verbal abuse, insults or harassment, such as taunting, offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace.
  • Physical attacks, such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti and arson;
  • Threat of attack, such as offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate, and unfounded malicious complaints;

Police officers should identify potentially ‚Äėsusceptible‚Äô communities and proactively make efforts to build relationships with those communities and relevant partners. These relationships will provide a structure and network, which can be used when tensions rise, an investigation occurs or a critical incident is identified. Effective community engagement can help to mitigate community tension caused by hate crimes or non-crime hate incidents. Conversely, failing to engage will undermine community confidence in law enforcement and make positive policing outcomes more difficult to achieve.

Very Brief Intervention


When responding to victims of hate crime you should consider how your language and conduct may affect victims and witnesses.

In particular you should:

  • Ask the victim or witness how they wish to be addressed ‚ąí do not assume gender identity
  • Gather information sensitively and provide reassurance, recording an accurate first account
  • Assess the initial risk and response required.

At all stages of an investigation, police officers  must be aware of potential risks to the safety, vulnerability and wellbeing of victims and witnesses. An important risk is the potential for further victimisation. Victims may be targeted either because they are perceived to be less likely to have the confidence to defend themselves physically or because they lack the confidence or ability to stand up to the offender.

Risk factors may include:

  • the victim‚Äôs isolation, eg, they have limited support or live alone
  • they have particular personal characteristics which may increase their vulnerability
  • there are particular issues that leave them susceptible to intimidation.

The following questions may help to elicit some of the information needed for effective risk assessment and management:

Do you want to speak in private? (Be aware of potential confidentiality issues e.g. not disclosing the victim’s sexuality)

Why do you think you have been targeted on this occasion? (Without sounding like the victim is being blamed.)

Have you or your family been targeted before?

Do you know of similar crimes in the area?

Do you fear that the offender will repeat the behaviour?

Do you know the offender?

What impact has the behaviour had on you and your family?

Other action to take:

  • remove the victim to a safe location if appropriate ‚Äď in some cases it may be more appropriate to address the risk through suspect interventions, eg, arrest or bail conditions
  • Do they need an interpreter?
  • use body-worn video¬†to gather an initial account which may support enhanced sentencing
  • make a record of the victim‚Äôs emotional response to the incident, eg, is the victim suffering from shock? Refer to support services if you think this would help
  • identify any victim needs and arrange for these to be put in place where practical.
  • what reasonable lines of inquiry should be pursued; and what evidence might need to be immediately secured
  • do relevant checks to see whether the victim is a repeat victim
  • if necessary, seek advice from a specialist hate crime investigator where available
  • notify neighbourhood policing teams and provide a copy of the crime report to support victim and community reassurance
  • for more serious incidents, consider deploying a family liaison officer
  • review risk assessment, as the victim may be more forthcoming once they have confidence in the attending officer.


What you can do to help depends on the particular circumstances and needs of the individual. Is this a criminal act? Do they need immediate medical attention? Would they benefit from referral to services that support victims of Hate Crime/Incidents.

Please click on the below regional links for information about Hate Crime/Incident support services relating to your locality.


National Services

Stop Hate UK

Stop Hate UK is one of the leading national organisations working to challenge all forms of Hate Crime and discrimination, based on any aspect of an individual’s identity. Stop Hate UK provides independent, confidential and accessible reporting and support for victims, witnesses and third parties.

Tel: 0800 138 1625 Available 24 hours a day

Text: 07717 989 025 Available 24 hours a day

Web: https://www.stophateuk.org/ To access online form and chat function available 24 hours a day

True Vision

True Vision is a police-funded web site designed to providing  information about Hate Crime. The website has a range of downloadable tools (based on practice developed across policing) that can assist in developing partnerships. These products include guidance on how non-statutory groups can be engaged to establish effective partnerships.

Individuals can report incidents here which will be forwarded to the local Police and will be recorded. As long as they do not report anonymously, an officer will contact them back.


Victim Support

Victim Support is the national charity giving free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else affected. They are not a government agency or part of the police so victims don't have to report a crime to the police to get their help. They can call any time after the crime has happened.

Tel: 0808 168 9111¬†‚Äď free helpline available 24 hour a day

Email: supportline@victimsupport.org.uk

Web: www.victimsupport.org.uk There is an online support form on the website

Equality Advisory Support Service

The EASS has a Helpline to give information and guidance on discrimination and human rights issues. The service is free and fully accessible by phone, email and video link for those who wish use British Sign Language. The service  has access to advocacy services for those with mental ill health and people with a learning disability.

Tel: 0808 800 0082 Freephone number open Monday to Friday 9am to 7pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.

Text phone: 0808 800 0084

Web: http://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com Email using form on the website

Tell Mama

A national project supporting victims of anti-Muslim hate and monitoring anti-Muslim incidents.  Reports can be made via  Telephone, Email, SMS, Facebook or Twitter. A  trained case workers will take the issue further with individuals who connect with the service and ensure they have details to record the incident and offer the them support. 

Tel: 0800 456 1226

SMS: 0115 707 0007

Email: Info@tellmamauk.org

Web: https://tellmamauk.org/

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Support

An organisation planning to end racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and to protect the right to pursue a nomadic way of life. They support  and provide advice to individuals and families with the issues that matter most to them.

Tel: 01273 234 777 Open Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 4.30pm excluding Bank Holidays.

Web: https://www.gypsy-traveller.org/


A national charity supporting LGBT+ people who are victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime, so-called conversion therapies, honour-based abuse, forced marriage, and other forms of abuse. A person can refer themselves into this services, or you can refer them. All phonelines are free to call and open Monday to Friday 10.00am-4.00pm

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline  0800 999 5428

LGBT+ Hate Crime Helpline 0207 704 2040

National Conversion Therapy Helpline 0800 130 3335

Web: https://galop.org.uk/

The Beaumont Society

The Beaumont Society operates a national information line providing help and support for the transgender community. This information line contains the telephone numbers of all the societies regional organisers who are available to speak to for advice.

Tel: 01582 412220 24/7, 365 days a year

Web: https://www.beaumontsociety.org.uk/contact.html


Mermaids supports transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children and young people their 20th birthday, as well as their families and professionals   involved in their care. They also offer web chat support to students up to the age of 25. Calls to Mermaids are confidential and any details recorded will not be shared with a third party.

Tel: 0808 801 0400 - Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm

Web: https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/contact-us/


A national helpline and support service for people with learning difficulties who are either victims or perpetrators of sexual abuse and other trauma, and for their carers. Issues covered include bereavement, abuse, bullying, relationship and sexuality issues.

Tel: 0808 808 0700 - Freephone helpline

Email: helpline@respond.co.uk

Web: www.respond.org.uk

ARC Safety Net Resources - Disability

A link to a range of national resources related to Hate Crime and disability. All resources are free to download and use

Web: https://arcuk.org.uk/safetynet/safety-net-resources/

Local Support and Contact Details