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Hate crime

A person shouting at another person who is sat on the floor

Have you or someone you know been a victim of a hate crime or hate incident?

Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person's:

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity (trans)

The crimes can be committed against a person or their 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 

Hate incidents can feel like crimes to those who suffer them and often escalate to crimes or tension in a community if they are not reported. This is why the police want to know about them and treat hate incidents seriously.

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 and incidents?

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.

Reporting makes a difference - to you, your friends, and your life.

What crimes and incidents can I report? 

All hostility based prejudice should be reported, whether you have been a victim, a witness or you are reporting on behalf of someone else.

These incidents may include verbal abuse, physical assault, domestic abuse, harassment, intimidation, cyber-bullying, vandalism, graffiti and damage to property.

Report a hate crime or incident

Report hate crime as a victim, a witness, or on behalf of someone else by:

You can give as little or as much personal information as you wish but with your details the incident can be investigated fully and you can get the service you deserve and the support you need.

Without your details the report will be used for monitoring purposes to let the police know what is happening

Bullying and the law

Bullying can be very upsetting and can make you feel very isolated, but remember there is help out there. The best person to speak to first is a trusted adult such as a parent or a teacher. They will be able to offer you support and advice.

When it comes to the law around bullying it is complicated. 

Many incidents of bullying may not actually be classed as a crime, but in some cases where someone has been targeted because of prejudice (such as the way someone looks or their beliefs) then this might be classed as a 'hate incident' and you must tell the police.

Illegal bullying incidents

Bullying incidents which are illegal involve:

  • Violence or assault
  • Theft
  • Harassment and intimidation over a period of time including calling someone names or threatening them, making abusive phone calls, and sending abusive emails or text messages (one incident is not normally enough to get a conviction)
  • Anything involving hate crimes (where someone has been targeted because of prejudice against the way they look, their beliefs or the way they live their lives for example)

If this has happened to you or anyone you know you must report it to the police.

In July 2016, the UK published a new Hate Crime Action Plan.  More information about Action Against Hate can be found in the documents section.

Lancashire Victim Services

If you have been affected by hate crime or been left feeling upset or harassed by hateful behaviour, Lancashire Victim Services is here to offer help, support and advice, they can even help you report the incident.

Call free on 0300 323 0085

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