What is hate crime?

Verbal abuse, violence and damage to property all become hate crimes when they're motivated by prejudice or hate. That can be because of your:

  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • gender identity
  • race or ethnicity

A single incident might not seem significant, but they can build up. You can help yourself by keeping a record of what's happened.

Getting emotional and practical support

Hate crime can be very frightening and distressing, especially because it's so tied up with who you are. There are a lot of organisations that can help you recover. Find support near you.

Reporting a hate crime

The police take hate crime very seriously. 

  • If it's an emergency, call them on 999. Otherwise you can report the crime by calling 101
  • You can report it online 
  • You can ask a victim support service to report it for you. This is called a Third Party Report. It will be anonymous so won't be investigated by the police, but it could help them join up related crimes

After reporting it to the police

The investigating officer will work out what support you might need. Because you've been the victim of a serious crime, you'll be entitled to extra help. That will include:

  • arranging for a specialist support service to contact you
  • letting you know in 1 working day what's happening with the suspect eg they're being released on bail
  • being given information about special measures that could help you give evidence in court

You can see the full list of support you’re entitled to in the Victims’ Code. This is a government document setting out everything you can expect from organisations like the police and courts.