Is hate crime something you have suffered or witnessed?

Since the referendum, there has been a reported increase in race hate crime. This and any other hate crime is to be condemned, but do you know what is regarded as hate crime and how you can report it?

Hate incidents and hate crime are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. The hostility or prejudice is based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation.

Examples of hate incidents include:

Verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes,

  • Harassment
  • Bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers,
  • Physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting,
  • Threats of violence
  • Hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail,
  • Online abuse e.g. on Facebook or Twitter,
  • Displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters,
  • Harm or damage to things such as your home, pet, vehicle,
  • Graffiti,
  • Arson

Hate incidents become hate crimes when a law has been broken.

People convicted of criminal acts like assault, murder, criminal damage, theft, fraud and burglary can be given longer sentences if their acts are also classified as hate crimes.

How can you report a hate incident or crime?

If you’ve experienced a hate incident or crime you can report it to the police – even if it is directed at someone else. When reporting the incident or crime, you should say whether you think it was because of disability,race, religion, transgender identity, sexual orientation or a combination of these things. This is important because it makes sure that the police record it as a hate incident.

If you need more advice on this issue or have problems with debt, benefits, consumer issues, work, relationships, housing, law and rights, education, discrimination, tax or healthcare you can

  • Visit to access a comprehensive range of information (webchat now available)
  • Call 0344 848 7969 (10 – 4 Monday to Friday) to speak to an assessor or make an appointment to talk to an adviser on the telephone or face to face at Village Way Cranleigh (10-4 Monday, Tuesday and Thursday)
  • E-mail a question via our website
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