What is a hate crime?
Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of a perceived hostility or prejudice towards that person’s:
- race or ethnicity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
- transgender identity
Hate crime can also be targeted due to an incorrect perception or assumption that the victim belongs to a protected group.
They can be committed against a person or property. A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.
What is a hate incident?
A hate incident is an incident that is targeted to due hate or perceived to be targeted due to hate but does not amount to a criminal offence.
Hate Incidents can feel like crimes to those who suffer them and often escalate to crimes or tension in a community.
For this reason, the police are concerned about hate incidents, and you can use the True Vision website to report non-crime hate incidents.
The police can only prosecute when the law is broken but can work with partners to try and prevent any escalation in seriousness.
Why should I report a hate crime?
Reporting makes a difference - to you, your friends, and your life.
Hate crimes and incidents hurt; they can be confusing and frightening.
By reporting them when they happen to you, you may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else. You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it.
You do not have to be the victim to report a hate crime, if you have witnessed a Hate Crime or Incident, then you can also report this.
At Yorkshire MESMAC we understand that there are a range of reasons why people may not be willing to report a Hate Crime and we will never pressure you into making a report.
What we will do is help you to access any services you need for support, talk to you about your options of reporting and we can even put in a report on your behalf.
You can find out contact details for your local Yorkshire MESMAC office here.
How can I report 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 and Yorkshire MESMAC can support you with reporting:
Call 999 or 112.
If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergencySMS first. See the emergencySMS website for details.
Who you can speak to in confidence. You do not have to give your personal details, but please be aware the investigation and ability to prosecute the offender(s) is severely limited if the police cannot contact you. Contact your local police force, either by telephone or by visiting your local police station. Details on how to contact your local police force can be found at www.police.uk (opens in new window).
You can report online using the True Vision website. Go to the 'Reporting online' page.
On the True Vision website you can:
- Find out what hate crime and hate incidents are.
- Find out ways that you can report them.
- Report to the police using the online hate crime reporting form.
- Find information about people who can provide you with advice and support.
- Download resources.
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 Report-It Website 'Report a hate crime' page.
Local agencies such as Yorkshire MESMAC, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Community Voluntary Services etc can also report the incident on your behalf and provide you with advice and support. The 'Organisations that can help' page has a list of those organisations that may be able to help you.