What is hate crime?
Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person's:
- race or ethnicity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
- transgender identity
The crime 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.
Hate incidents can feel like crimes to those who suffer them and often escalate to crimes or tension in a community. Which is why the police are concerned about such incidents and why you can use this site to report non-crime hate incidents. The police can only prosecute when the law is broken, but they can work with partners to try and prevent the degree of seriousness escalating.
Why should I report hate crime?
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.
Reporting makes a difference - to you, your friends, your community, and your life.
What crimes can I report?
All hate crimes and incidents should be reported, whether you've been a victim, a witness or you're reporting on behalf of someone else.
These incidents may include verbal abuse, physical assault, domestic abuse, harassment and damage to property.
If a person is bullied as a result of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity, this is also dealt with either as a hate crime or non-crime hate incident. Bullying could include name-calling, being spat at or kicked, or having your things taken or damaged.
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:
In an emergency tell the Police
If you or someone else is in immediate danger then call 999, or call 101, the number to call when you want to contact your local police but it's less urgent than a 999 call. You can speak in confidence. You don't have to give your personal details, but please note that any investigation and ability to prosecute the offender(s) is severely limited if the police can't contact you.
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.
Report online or using a form
You can report online by completing the feature on the True Vision website. Visit their 'Reporting online' page for details.
Alternatively, you can download a self-reporting form and send this to your local police force. The forms, including an Easy Read version, can be found on True Vision's 'Report a hate crime' page.
Third party reporting centres
Local agencies such as Citizens Advice and Community Voluntary Services 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 across 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 (freephone) 0800 555111 or via their website. You don't have to give your name and whatever you have to say is confidential.
You can give us as little or as much personal information as you wish. But please note:
- with your details; the incident can be investigated fully and you can get the service you deserve and the support you need
- without your details; the report will be used for monitoring purposes to get a true vision of what is happening
Reporting extremist and terrorist material
The internet is used by some people to promote terrorism and extremism. But you can challenge and report terrorist and extremist content you find online, if you feel it's offensive or illegal.
Click through here to find information about what makes online content illegal and how to report it.