What is a Hate Crime?

What is hate crime?

A hate crime is any crime committed against someone where the motivation has been hostility, prejudice or hatred towards that person because of their:

  • Hate Crime Leaflet - page 1Disability – including physical, hearing and visual impairments, mental ill health and learning disabilities.
  • Race – nationality, ethnicity, skin colour and heritage.
  • Faith – includes religion, belief, including non-religious belief.
  • Sexual orientation – people who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or heterosexual.
  • Gender identity – people who identify as ‘trans’, including transgender or transsexual people.

Anyone can be a victim of hate. Hate crime or incidents can take place anywhere – at home, in the street, online, at work or at school.  No-one should have to live with the fear, anxiety and consequences of hate crime.

It can include things like:

  • Physical assault.
  • Damage to property.
  • Offensive graffiti.
  • Arson.
  • Inciting hatred online.

The Police can only prosecute when the law is broken, but are still interested in receiving reports about non-crime hate incidents. These incidents may not be criminal offences but often can feel like a crime to those who suffer them, and can sometimes escalate to crimes.  

The police can work with partners to try and prevent escalation.

Examples include:

  • Verbal or online insults or harassment.
  • Offensive leaflets and posters.
  • Abusive gestures.
  • Bullying at school or in the workplace.

If you are a victim or a witness of hate, reporting it when it happens will help the police to deal with it and may prevent these incidents from happening to someone else.  You will also help the police understand the extent of hate incidents in your local area so they can better respond to it.

How do I report a hate crime or incident?

  • Always call 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or   a crime is in progress.
  • Call 101 for non-emergencies.
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired you can use textphone 18001 101 or mobile text phone 07786 200200.
  • Talk to our 101 operators online using 101 Live Chat – not for emergency use.
  • Visit your nearest police station or contact point.
  • Use the services of an independent Hate Incident Reporting Centre (full list available on the West Yorkshire Police website).
  • Report non-emergency hate incidents online using our online reporting form – www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime