What is hate crime?
Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s:
- race or ethnicity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
- transgender identity
This can be committed against a person or property. A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.
Hate Incidents can feel like crimes to those who suffer them and often escalate to crimes or tension in a community. For this reason the police are concerned about incidents and you can also use this site to report non-crime hate incidents. The police can only prosecute when the law is broken but can work with partners to try and prevent any escalation in seriousness.
Why should I report hate crime?
Hate crimes and incidents hurt; they can be confusing and frightening. By reporting them when they happen to you, you may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else. You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it.
Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
Homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crimes or incidents are motivated by the offender’s hostility or prejudice towards lesbian, gay, bi or trans people.
Anyone can be a victim of a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic incident – it does not matter if the victim is lesbian, gay, bi, trans or straight.
It may be a hate crime if someone shouts homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse at someone in the street, or physically attacks them because they think they’re gay, lesbian, bi or trans.
If you feel you have experienced a hate crime or incident, report it. The police can only do something if they know about it. If they don’t know, they can’t prevent things from getting worse.
By reporting a crime or an incident you could be protecting someone else from harm. There are a number of ways to report a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crime or incident:
A hate crime is any illegal act where the perpetrator is motivated by or demonstrates hostility towards an aspect of a person’s identity, specifically their race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability.
When classed as a hate crime, the perpetrator may receive a tougher sentence under the Criminal Disorder Act 1998 or the Criminal Justice Act 2003, depending on which identity strand is targeted. The law does not currently recognise intersectionality in hate crime legislation.
Support for victims
There are several national organisations that offer support to victims of hate crime. They provide services such as helplines, guidance, confidential safety advice and training. Some may be able to report a hate crime on your behalf.