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What is hate crime? 

Nobody should have to live with the fear and anxiety that hate crime can cause. 
 
'Hate incidents' and 'hate crimes' are terms used to describe acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.  They are motivated by hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity, or sexual orientation. This can be an incident against a person or against property and includes materials posted online. 
 
A national anti-hate crime campaign, #BetterThanThat, has been backed by the government and has been launched in response to the rise in incidents after the EU referendum. The campaign is open to all organisations willing to support the fight against hate crime. 
 
The police and the Crown Prosecution Service take all hate crime very seriously. All police forces would want you to report hate crimes and they take all reports of hate crime very seriously.  
 
Hate incidents and crimes include bullying, harassment and sexual harassment which are contrary to the Equality Act 2010, which defines specific types of discrimination, and the University’s Student Disciplinary Procedure (Non-Academic) and Dignity at Work Policy. For staff, these behaviours are also contrary to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Employment Policy
 
We also offer support articles in relation to bullying and harassment, and sexual harassment
 
Hate Incidents 
 
Some examples of hate incidents include: 
  • verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes 
  • harassment 
  • bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers 
  • physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting 
  • threats of violence 
  • hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail 
  • online abuse, for example on Facebook or Twitter 
  • displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters 
  • harm or damage to things such as your home, pet, or vehicle 
  • graffiti 
  • arson 
  • throwing rubbish into a garden 
  • malicious complaints, for example over parking, smells or noise 
 
Hate Crime 
 
When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes.  A criminal offence is something that breaks the law.  Some examples of hate crimes include: 
  • assaults 
  • criminal damage 
  • harassment 
  • murder 
  • sexual assault 
  • theft 
  • fraud 
  • burglary 
  • hate mail 
  • harassment 
 
Race and Religious Hate Crime 
 
Racist and religious crime is particularly hurtful to victims as they are being targeted solely because of their personal identity: their actual or perceived racial or ethnic origin, belief or faith. These crimes can happen randomly or be part of a campaign of continued harassment and victimisation. 

Racism is a particular form of discrimination based on racial prejudice. Racism in the UK is the exercise of historic power relations that produce discrimination and is ideologically driven: it means students and staff who identify and are identified as part of the white ethnic majority enjoy a position of relative and typically unspoken and unacknowledged privilege over Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and staff (adapted from the UCL Statement on Race). It is possible for systems and processes to be racist as well as people and groups. Specific forms of racism include: 
 
  • Anti-black racism - Practices and policies that mirror and reinforce beliefs, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination towards people of Black-African descent. (Adapted from Black Health Alliance)  
  •  Antisemitism - “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance)  
  •  Islamophobia - “Islamophobia is any distinction, exclusion, or restriction towards, or preference against, Muslims (or those perceived to be Muslims) that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.” (Runnymede Trust)

Citizens Advice on Racist and Religious Hate Crime. Citizens Advice provides further information on racist and religious hate crime.

CPS Policy on Prosecuting Racist & Religious Hate crimes. The Crown Prosecuting Service sets out their policy and provides further information. 
 
Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime 
 
In the past, incidents against lesbian, gay, bisexual people or transgender people have been rarely reported and even more rarely prosecuted. Research studies suggest that victims of, or witnesses to, such incidents have very little confidence in the criminal justice system.

Homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crimes or incidents are motivated by the offender's hostility or prejudice towards lesbian, gay, bi or trans people. Anyone can be a victim of a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic incident - it does not matter if the victim is lesbian, gay, bi, trans or straight. It may be a hate crime if someone shouts homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse at someone in the street, or physically attacks them because they think they're gay, lesbian, bi or trans. (Stonewall

Citizens Advice on Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime. Citizens Advice provides further information on homophobic and transphobic hate crime.

CPS policy on Prosecuting Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crimes. The Crown Prosecuting Service sets out their policy and provides further information. 
 
Disability Hate Crime 
 
Feeling and being unsafe through violence, harassment or negative stereotyping has a significant impact on disabled people's sense of security and wellbeing. It also impacts significantly on their ability to participate both socially and economically in their communities. 

Citizens Advice on Disability Hate Crime. Citizens Advice provides further information on disability related hate crime.

CPS policy on prosecuting Disability Hate Crimes. The Crown Prosecuting Service sets out their policy and provides further information. 
 
Find out more 
  • True Vision offers guidance on reporting hate crime and hate incidents. If you do not wish to talk to anyone in person about the incident or wish to remain anonymous there is an online form for reporting hate crime; you can report non-crime hate incidents to the police to try and prevent any escalation in seriousness. 
  • Internet Hate Crime. True Vision also provide further information on internet hate crime. 
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