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, skin colour, nationality, ethnicity or heritage;
- Religion or perceived religion (including people without a religious belief);
- Sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation;
- Disability or perceived disability (including physical impairments, mental health problems, learning disabilities, hearing and visual impairments;
- Gender Identity (people who are transgender, transsexual or transvestite).
The criminal offences are criminal damage, public order, harassment and assault.
Hate Crime can take many forms including:
- Verbal abuse or insults, offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes and bullying in school or the workplace.
- Threat of attack – including offensive letters, abusive obscene telephone calls and offensive comments on social networking websites.
- Physical attack – such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes or arson.
- ‘mate crime’ – when somebody befriends a vulnerable person to take advantage of that vulnerability.
How can I protect myself?
Hate crimes may start out as smaller incidents that escalate into more serious offences. That's why it is important to report any incidents of hate as soon as possible. It's also important when a reporting an incident to mention that you believe it was motivated because of race, religion, disability transgender identity or sexual orientation as it will then be recorded as a hate incident.
It may help to keep a record of any incidents that you think are connected, no matter how small. This log should include what took place and the time, date and location of when it happened.
If you don't feel comfortable making a report, speak to a relative, friend or trusted community member who can help you or accompany you to a police station. You can also visit one of Merseyside's Third Party Reporting Centres where you can get help to report an incident (please find more information below).
Where can I go for help or further information?
Reporting hate crime
- Call 101, or in an emergency dial 999.
- For practical advice and support call 101 and ask to speak to your local hate crime team.
- Call Stop Hate UK in confidence and anonymously on 0800 138 1625.
- Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- Visit your local police station.
- Visit a third party reporting centre. You can find these anywhere you see the 'red hand' logo (right). These are safe and secure environments where you will be helped to report a hate crime.
- You can also contact your registered social housing provider.
The following organisations provide tailored support and help to victims according to the type of hate crime someone has experienced through the Police and Crime Commissioner's Victim Care Merseyside service:
- racial or religious hate crime - the Anthony Walker Foundation;
- disability hate crime - Daisy Inclusive UK;
- LGBTQ+ hate crime - Citizens Advice Liverpool.