Hate incidents and crime

What it is and how to report it

Call 999 if a crime is happening now or you're in immediate danger.

Hate incidents and crimes are motivated by hatred of a certain characteristic or perceived characteristic of the victim. Although all of the characteristics below are valid, only the first five in bold are currently officially recorded by Central Government:

  • Race or perceived race
  • Religion or perceived religion (or no religion)
  • Sexuality or perceived sexuality
  • Transgender or perceived transgender
  • Disability or perceived disability
  • Individual characteristics (alternative lifestyles, dress style, physical appearance, culture)
  • Gender based hostility

There is a clear difference between a hate crime and a hate incident in relation to statutory powers to intervene. All hate crimes are hate incidents but not all hate incidents are hate crimes, as explained below. The underpinning rationale behind a hate crime or incident is perception. It is the perception of the victim or any other person (e.g. a witness) that is the determining factor of a hate crime/incident.

Hate incident: Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by hostility or prejudice.

Examples include name calling, making jokes/banter, making people feel really uncomfortable, ignoring/isolating them, or encouraging others to behave in such a way. These can all be done online, in person, via letters or other methods.

Hate crime: Any incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by hostility or prejudice.

Examples include harassment, intimidation, damage to property, physical assaults, verbal abuse including threats and bullying which can also be done in person or online, via letters and other methods.

Report Hate

  • Call the police on 999 if there is an immediate threat that needs an emergency response.
  • Where this is no emergency report the incident to the police via 101 or via Truevision, or to the local authority in person, by phone or online.

Last Updated on Thursday, September 1, 2022