'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 protected characteristics.
There are 9 protected characteristics. These are:
- Gender reassignment
- Being married or in a civil partnership
- Being pregnant or on maternity leave
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
Hate crimes are criminal offences that can be reported to the police.
When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. A criminal offence is something that breaks the law. Citizens Advice have a helpful resource distinguishing the difference between hate incidents and crimes Check if you’ve experienced a hate crime or hate incident - Citizens Advice
A hate crime is defined as 'any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.' This can be an incident against a person or against property and includes materials posted online.
Below are some resources that cover some protected characteristics and hate crimes:
Race and Religious Hate Crime
- 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
- 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
- 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 also 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.