What is hate crime?
Hate crime, or discrimination, can take many forms. If a crime is committed against you because of your Race, Nationality, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Disability (physical or mental) or Gender Identity this is a Hate Crime and you should report it. It doesn't mean the person has to hate you just that you believe they were hostile or prejudiced towards you because of the reasons above and did what they did because of this.
It could include verbal abuse, threats and intimidation, physical attack, harassment, damage to property and/or violence. It may be offensive letters, emails, texts or other social media or abusive telephone calls. It may be done by a family member or someone you thought was a friend, a neighbour or a stranger
You do not have to be a member of a particular community to be a victim of a Hate Crime, the incident could be based on the assumption that you belong to that community
If you have been a victim of or been witness to it, what can you do about it?
If you feel you are in immediate danger you should call the police on 999.
If it is not urgent but you want to report it to the police you can call 101 any time of day or night and ask to speak to your local police force. If you would be uncomfortable for police to call at your home you can tell the operator this along with any other information that will help them support you in the best way, such as whether you have a learning disability or other access needs. Tell them you think the incident was a hate crime and what happened. Your neighbourhood team are there to support you and your community to prevent ASB and Hate Crime.
You can report Hate Crime to the police online at www.report-it.org.uk
If your case goes to court the Crown Prosecution Service will try to make things as easy as possible for you. The Witness Care Unit will support you during the case and can ask for special measures such as arranging for you to give evidence from behind a screen or by video link, or restrict media reporting if you are worried about being identified.
You can use a hearing loop or interpreter if you need one or have someone help you answer questions in court if you have a learning disability. The aim is to enable you to give your best evidence. Victim Support are there to help with emotional support and practical things such as dealing with broken locks or helping you apply for compensation. You can find out more about the support they can offer at www.victimsupport.org.uk or telephone 0845 30 30 900.