Have you ever been targeted for abuse because of who you are? If so, you may have been a victim of a hate crime.
A hate crime is any crime that is targeted against someone because of:
Their disability or learning difficulties
Their race or the colour of their skin
Their religion or beliefs
Their gender identity
Their sexual orientation.
Almost any type of crime can be a hate crime. Attacking or harassing someone, damaging property, graffiti and even arson or murder could all be hate crimes.
Even if the abuse happened online, such as on Facebook or Twitter, it can still be a hate crime.
If someone has been targeted because of who they are but a crime has not occurred – or cannot be proven – this is called a ‘hate incident’.
People who have been targeted in hate incidents can feel upset, hurt or confused. Support is available to them to help them deal with the situation.
Remember, being different is not a crime. But if someone commits a crime against you because you are different, that is a hate crime.
Don’t ignore it – report it.
You might think reporting hate crime is not important. It may be you’re embarrassed to discuss it, scared of reprisals, or had bad experience of reporting in the past.
But reporting a hate crime means that the police can do something about it.
If no one stops it, it could get worse or it could affect more people. Just think how many people could see offensive graffiti.
Hate crimes that are reported to police will be taken seriously and will be fully investigated. No information will be shared without your agreement and you will be treated with respect.
Anyone who commits a crime will get a heavier punishment if it is proved to be motivated by hate.
In Hertfordshire, the police have specially trained hate crime officers. They deal with victims of hate crimes and support anyone who has been affected by hate incidents.
How to report hate crime
You can report hate crime to police via 101. If you would prefer not to go direct to police, there are other ways you can report it. You can go online at Report It (opens in a new window) to report a hate crime, or you can go to one of the many third party reporting centres in your area. In an emergency, always call 999.
Where you can report hate crimes locally
University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire The Advice and Support Centre Hertfordshire Students’ Union University of Hertfordshire College Lane Hatfield AL10 9AB
The Equality Office University of Hertfordshire College Lane Hatfield AL10 9AB
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council The Campus Welwyn Garden City AL8 6AE
Hertsmere Borough Council
Hertsmere Borough Council Elstree Way Borehamwood WD6 1WA
Tel: 020 8207 2277
Community Action Hertsmere
Community Action Hertsmere 2 Allum Lane Elstree WD6 3PJ