What is a hate incident or crime?
A hate incident is any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by prejudice against someone's:
- Racial heritage
- Sexual orientation
- Transgender identity.
A hate incident becomes a hate crime when the incident meets the threshold to become a criminal offence.
What kind of behaviour could constitute a hate incident or crime?
The following types of behaviour if combined with a perceived prejudice in respect of a person's sex, racial heritage, religion, disability or sexual orientation could amount to a hate crime:
- Verbal abuse and harassment
- Threats and intimidation
- Physical assault and violence, including sexual violence
- Property damage
- Offensive mail.
Why report hate incidents or crimes?
By sharing information, a range of actions will take place to help the victim and any witnesses and identify and deal with the person responsible. These actions may include:
- Extra home security for victims
- Extra CCTV to identify people involved and help with evidence
- Tenancy enforcement against people responsible for hate crime
- Police investigation to gather evidence
- Advice and information for victims
- Support for victims through any criminal prosecution
- Rapid removal of offensive graffiti
- Gathering of photo evidence of hate crime.
Here's what a Warwick PhD wrote about his experience:
"I am an international student who is a victim of physical and verbal assaults. Clearly this caused discomfort and stress in a student’s life. Living in a foreign country far from home I was hesitant to speak up about experiencing hate crimes in the neighbourhood. So, I tried to deal with the stress, anxiety and fear by myself. When I could not stand it any longer, I decided to report what I had experienced to Wellbeing Support Services to seek some advice. They took the issue very seriously and offered a lot of help and solutions including psychological support to deal with the after effects of exposure to crime and meeting with the police officers to figure out practical and effective ways to stop crime. So, I urge all students who have gone through similar experiences not to keep quiet and to speak up. Remember, crime feeds on silence and so we must speak up".
What information is needed for a report?
Usually the report is made using a form and including as much or as little information as the person wanting the incident to be recorded wants to give. If only minimal information is given then there will be limitations on what support or investigations into the crime that can take place.
Usual information asked for will include:
- Category of hate incident (incident involving sex, racial heritage, religion, disability or sexual orientation)
- What level of response the person making the report wants i.e:
- Wants a multi-agency response
- Wants to discuss the options further prior to further action being taken
- Wants no further action taken at this stage
- Victim not present - their wishes are not known
- Details of person making the report (name, address, contact details, ethnicity, religion ( if religious incident))
- Victim/complainant details if different from the person making the report
- If known details of perpetrator
- Details of witnesses
- Details of incident and description of what happened.
If after having read this you would like further information or support please contact the SU Advice Centre and we will do our best to help you.