What is Hate Crime?
Nobody should have to live with the fear and anxiety that hate crime can cause.
A hate crime is 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.
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.
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.
Some examples of hate incidents include:
- verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes
- 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
- throwing rubbish into a garden
- malicious complaints, for example over parking, smells or noise
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:
- criminal damage
- sexual assault
- hate mail