Hate Crime

What is Hate Crime?

Hate crime is defined as ‘any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic.’ There are five centrally monitored strands of hate crime based on:

  • race or ethnicity
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • transgender identity

This common definition was agreed by the Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Hate crime can include, for example:

  • verbal abuse
  • physical attack
  • offensive literature
  • graffiti
  • damage to property
  • arson

More information on Hate crime can be found on the Home Office website (external link).

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What are Hate Incidents?

As well as hate crimes, which are criminal offences, a person may be a victim of a hate incident. Something is a hate incident if the victim, or anyone else, thinks it was motivated on the grounds of the characteristics listed above. If you believe something is a hate incident as opposed to a hate crime, it should still be reported using the non-emergency options listed below.

Hate incidents can include, for example:

  • verbal abuse, like name-calling and offensive jokes
  • harassment
  • bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers
  • hoax calls
  • online abuse, for example on Facebook or Twitter
  • throwing rubbish into a garden
  • malicious complaints, for example over parking, smells or noise.

Why Report a Hate Crime?

You can report a hate crime or a hate incident even if it wasn't directed at you. You may have witnessed something happen to another person on public transport, or been told about a friend, relative, or co-worker being victimised.

Whether you have been targeted yourself, or witnessed something happen to someone else, it's important to report hate incidents and hate crime because it allows police to build a picture of the issue. This can help nationally and locally -your report may stop other people being targeted through police intervention.

Although the police will not be able to make arrests or bring prosecutions against people who haven't broken the law, they can still help to direct you to other forms of support and guidance when a hate incident has taken place.

You may be worried about wasting police time, or concerned that what happened doesn't fit the criteria to be classed as a hate crime or a hate incident - the police are committed to tackling hate crime and are best placed to assess whether what has happened fits the criteria or not. Reporting the incident is the safest thing to do and could prevent re-victimisation.

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How to Report a Hate Crime

Through the Police

  • If a hate crime is happening, and you or others are in immediate danger, call 999
  • In a non-emergency, or to make a report after a hate crime has happened, you can call 101
  • You can also attend a local police station to make a report:

Tottenham Police Station, 398 High Road, N17 9JA (open 24 hours)

You can make a report to the police online (external link).

True Vision

  • True Vision (external link) is an online tool you can use to report hate crime or incidents perpetrated against you, or on behalf of another person.

How to report offensive graffiti

To report graffiti (offensive), visit our Acts of Vandalism page.

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Useful External Links:

If you have been a victim of, or witnessed a hate crime, please see the list of support and advice organisations below. These links will take you to external websites.

Please see Support Organisations for Centrally Monitored Strands (PDF, 469 KB) for a comprehensive list of organisations that can provide useful support and advice.

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Page last updated:

October 12, 2022