What are they?
Hate incidents and hate crime are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of whom they are or who someone thinks they are.
The police and Crown Prosecution Service have agreed a common definition of hate incidents.
They agree an incident is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following five characteristics;
- Transgender Identity;
- Sexual Orientation.
This means that if you believe something is a hate incident it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to. All police services record hate incidents based on these five personal characteristics.
An incident is a racist of religious hate incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on race or religion.
Anyone can fall victim of a racist and religious hate incident. For example, someone may wrongly believe you are part of a certain racial group. Or someone may target you because of your partner’s religion.
Hate incidents can take many forms including but not limited to;
- Verbal and physical abuse;
- Threatening behaviour;
- Online abuse;
- Damage to property.
If you’ve experienced, or know someone who has experienced, a hate incident or hate crime you can report it online via True Vision website or directly to the police.
You can report an incident online via the True Vision website. Once you have filled in the form online, it is sent directly to your local police force. You can also use the self–reporting form which you must then send to your local police.
It is vital to give as many details as possible; as this helps the police deal with your case more efficiently. If you want the police to investigate the incident, you will need to provide your contact details and the best time to contact you.
If you need help reporting the incident you can seek additional advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
You can report the incident directly to the police by visiting your local police station or by phone. When you report the incident you should ask for the reference number, this will help you in any further dealings with the police in future. If you are not comfortable reporting the incident you can ask someone else to phone the police on your behalf such as a friend or relative. You can also contact a Citizens Advice Bureau to help you phone the police.
If English is not your first language or you are not comfortable speaking in English, you can request that the police provide an interpreter to speak to you in your native language.
Useful information to include in the reporting form
The reporting forms tell you what information is required for the police. Here are some useful tips on information to include.
When describing the offender it is useful to give general information such as age, height, build, gender, ethnicity, and clothing. Also, try to remember any particular features such as;
- Hair colour;
- Jewellery or piercing;
- Facial Hair;
- A particular accent;
- Birth marks.
This information can be found on the Citizens Advice Bureau website
If you would like to talk to someone about an incident and get advice about what you can do next please contact your Housing Officer on 0207 424 7370.