Date: March 13th, 2018 5:28 PM
What is hate crime?
A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference. It doesn’t always include physical violence. Someone using offensive language towards you or harassing you because of who you are, or who they think you are, is also a crime. The same goes for someone posting abusive or offensive messages about you online. If it happens to you, you might be tempted to shrug it off. But if you tell us, we can investigate and stop it from getting worse - either for you or someone else.
Hate crimes and hate incidents
If someone commits a criminal offence and the victim, or anyone else, believes it was motivated by prejudice or hate, we class this as a ‘hate crime’. It means the offender can be charged for the crime itself and also their reasons for doing it.
If someone does something that isn’t a criminal offence but the victim, or anyone else, believes it was motivated by prejudice or hate, we would class this as a ‘hate incident’. Though what the perpetrator has done may not be against the law, their reasons for doing it are. This means it may be possible to charge them with an offence.
If you’ve witnessed or been the victim of a crime or incident you believe was motivated by prejudice or hate, visit our How to report hate crime page. There you’ll also find details of where to get help and advice if you’re not ready to report it to police just yet.