Hate crime

Hate crime not only harms its victims, it also harms their families and communities.

The government is committed to tackling hate crime. We want to raise awareness of what a hate crime is and help people understand that it is not right to target individuals based on their identity.

A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or anybody else, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone’s:

  • race
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity
  • disability

These aspects are known as ‘protected characteristics’.

A hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and damage to property.

A hate incident is behaviour which isn’t a crime but which is perceived by the victim, or anybody else, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on the 5 protected characteristics.


Report a hate crime

You can report a hate crime online or call 101 to speak to the police.

Call 999 if you’re reporting a crime that’s in progress or if someone is in immediate danger.

If you do not feel comfortable reporting directly to the police, there are organisations who can make a report of hate crime on your behalf.

Witnesses, as well as victims, can report a hate crime.


Recognise a hate crime

It is not always easy to tell the difference between a hate crime or hate incident, but if you feel you have been the victim of, or witnessed, hatred based on one of the 5 characteristics you should report it to the police.

Watch these videos to find out more.

Online transgender hate crime

Online LGBT hate crime


Support for victims

There are several national organisations that offer support to victims of hate crime. They provide services such as helplines, guidance, confidential safety advice and training. Some may be able to report a hate crime on your behalf.