What are hate incidents and hate crimes?
A hate incident is any incident carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on someone’s disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation.
When hate incidents become criminal offences, breaking the law, they are known as hate crimes.
The experience of a hate incident or crime can be actual or perceived, and can include one of the following or of course a combination:
- Verbal abuse, threats, insults, nuisance telephone calls, name calling and every other form of verbal harassment
- Physical assaults and physical violence which can vary from pushing to serious attacks
- Attacks against someone's property, for example insulting graffiti, vandalism, breaking windows, theft, damaging cars and arson
- Publishing and disseminating materials such as leaflets and newspapers that are likely to incite hate crime is also a criminal offence
Many hate crimes go unreported because people do not always know how to report it. Victims may feel embarrassed or even scared they will be attacked again. Sometimes they are worried at how they will be treated by the police or other authorities. However without reports, hate crime can become worse and it's far harder to stop those responsible.
Essex Police say
“(we) take prejudice-based crime seriously and we want all incidents to be reported. It is important to let us know about hate crime to give us a chance to investigate and prosecute offenders and to ensure that you and the wider community are protected.
Whatever your background, it is important to remember that if you are the victim of hostility or prejudice, you are not to blame. Everyone has the right to live their life free from abuse and violence whoever they are. You don’t have to live with hate crime and we are here to help”
If you experience Hate crime:
Please do not suffer in silence, as soon as you can, go somewhere you know is safe and get help
- In an emergency call 999. Otherwise call the police on 101, tell the police what has happened and why you think it is a hate crime
- If you do not have the confidence to talk to the police you can report it via a Hate Incident Reporting Centre (HIRC) - Rochford District Council is a HIRC, please see below for more details - or report on-line using the link in Related Content section.
- Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Rochford District Council is a Hate Incident Reporting Centre (HIRC)
To support people in reporting a Hate Incident or Crime, and to help the Police reduce hate related crime, Rochford District Council has become a Hate Incident Reporting Centre (HIRC).
This means you will be able to report a hate incident or hate crime at the Rochford District Council receptions and speak to one of the Council’s Hate Crime Ambassadors. They will support you in reporting your experience to the Police or will do so on your behalf.
Alternatively you can call Community Safety on 01702 318103 or email us using this form.
There are also other HIRCS throughout the district, you can find them using the link in Related Content.