What is Hate Crime?

Hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on five protected characteristics; Disability, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Transgender.

 In May 2017 North Yorkshire Police added Misogyny into its hate crime policy. Misogyny hate crime is defined as: “Incidents against women and girls that are motivated by the attitude of men towards them and includes behaviour targeted at them by men simply because they are women and/or girls.” Examples of this may include unwanted or uninvited sexual advances; physical or verbal assault; unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement; sexually graphic and explicit obscene language; use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission.

In October 2019 North Yorkshire Police declared Crimes against Sex Workers to be hate crimes (this was launched in Merseyside and is known as the Merseyside Model). Inspector Ed Rogerson said: “It’s clear that some sex workers are targeted because of their sex working and these offences should be treated as hate crimes. Hate crime can take various forms, including physical attacks, threat of attack, online harassment and verbal abuse or insults.
“Sex work is legal between consenting adults, but as a force we understand that a lot of sex workers are wary of the police and, for a range of reasons, are often anxious about reporting to the police should they be victims of crime. They may be worried that they will be judged, not taken seriously, arrested, face an outcome that causes disruption to their working and that they may be identified publicly.
“I want to reassure sex workers that this is not the case in North Yorkshire, and that we strongly believe they deserve and will receive the same level of respect and protection as everyone in our communities.”

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

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
  • 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

Hate incidents can feel like crimes to people who suffer them and often escalate to crimes or tension in a community. You can report such incidents, but the police can only prosecute when the law is broken. However, the police can work with other organisations to prevent the situation escalating.

To learn more about the university's commitment to social and cultural diversity click here.

You can access support whether or not you report the incident/crime to the police. Find out more here


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