Hate crime is subjecting people to harassment, victimisation, intimidation or abuse because of their race, faith, religion or disability, or because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Hate crime can take many forms:
• being called names
• being pushed, hassled or threatened
• being beaten up, spat at or kicked
• having your things taken or damaged
• being made fun of or called names by anyone
Reporting hate crime
Hate crime in any form is wrong. That is why it is important that if hate crime happens to you or someone you know, that you report it.
Reporting makes a difference – to you, your friends, and your community. By reporting hate crime when it happens, you can help stop it happening to someone else. You will also help the police to better understand the level of hate crime in your local area, and improve the way they respond to it.
How can I report a hate crime?
There are several ways you can report a hate crime, whether you have been a victim, a witness, or you are reporting on behalf of someone else:
1. In an emergency
• Call 999 or 112.
2. Contact the local police
• Who you can speak to in confidence. Contact your local police force, either by telephone or by visiting your local police station.
3. Talk to support staff
• Talk to your support worker who will help you decide what to do about it.
4. Ring SMaRT
• If you don’t wish to talk directly to the police or don’t want the police to visit your home you can contact the SMaRT team.
5. Report online
• You can report online at www.report-it.org.uk
6. Self-reporting form
• You can download the self reporting form and send this to your local police force. The forms, including an Easy Read version, can be found on the www.report-it.org.uk web site.
7. Third party reporting centres
• Local agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Community Voluntary Services etc. can also report the incident on your behalf and provide you with advice and support.
• Stop Hate UK provide confidential and independent Hate Crime reporting services in various areas in the UK including a 24 hour helpline.
• If you do not want to talk to the police or fill in the reporting forms, you can still report a hate crime by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via their website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org You do not have to give your name and what you say is confidential. It is free to call.
General safety tips
Here are some tips to follow if you are out and about.
• Stay alert – awareness is your best defense.
• Leave venues with friends wherever possible.
• Try to stay in well-lit areas.
• Be confident – even if you don't feel it.
• Travel as if you know where you are going.
• Take the most direct route and try to stay within areas where other people are around.
• Trust your instincts – if you think something is wrong then act on it.
• Have your keys available when you reach your home or car.
• Keep money for taxis – the expense is worth it.
• Carry a personal alarm and use it when necessary.
If you are a victim:
• Get help immediately.
• In an emergency dial 999 or 112.
• Make as much noise as you can to alert people.
• As soon as you can, go somewhere you know is safe.
• If you have been attacked, don't shower or change your clothes as it may destroy evidence.
• If you have the confidence, tell the police why you think you were attacked.
• If you have had your keys taken, ensure you change the locks.
• Don’t drink alcohol – you need to give a clear account of what happened.
• Use the reporting systems to report the incident if you do not have the confidence to tell the police.