Nobody should have to live with the fear and anxiety that hate crime can cause.
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 disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and/or transgender identity. This can be an incident against a person or against property, and includes materials posted online.
Hate incidents are based on your own understanding of the experience. If you believe that what you experienced was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on actual or perceived disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and/or transgender identity, it should be recorded as such.
When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. A criminal offence is something that breaks the law. The police and the Crown Prosecution Service take all hate crime very seriously.
It doesn't always include physical violence. Someone using offensive language towards you or harassing you because of who you are, or who they think you are, is also a hate incident/crime. The same goes for someone posting abusive or offensive messages about you online.
The person does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted.
Hate incidents/crimes hurt individuals and communities and reporting them allows the University and the police to better understand and deal with what is happening.
Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported.
It is not your responsibility to know whether something constitutes a hate incident or a hate crime. If in doubt, report the incident to the University or the police, and they will be able to advise on that. At the very least, your experience will be recorded as a hate incident.
We are committed to inclusivity and we take a firm approach to dealing with actions that have a negative impact on the safety and wellbeing of our community.
Hate incidents and crimes include bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct which are contrary to the Equality Act 2010 and the staff University Bullying and Harassment Policy as well as the Student Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Student Disciplinary Procedure.
Find out more about Bullying and Harassment and Sexual Misconduct.
Some examples of hate incidents include:
- verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes;
- bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers;
- threats of violence;
- hoax calls;
- 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.
Some examples of hate crimes include:
- criminal damage;
- sexual assault;
- hate mail;
Hate Incident/Crime based on race or religion
Racist and religious incident/crime targets people because of their actual or perceived race, ethnicity or nationality; as well as their religion, belief, faith, or lack of. These incidents/crimes can happen randomly or be part of a campaign of continued harassment and victimisation.
Hate Incident/Crime based on sexual orientation and/or transgender identity
This includes incidents motivated by prejudice and hostility based on someone’s actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or transgender identity. This has been shown to have significant impact on an individual’s wellbeing, daily life and personal safety, especially if they identify as LGBTQ+. These incidents/crimes can happen randomly or be part of a targeted campaign of continued harassment and abuse.
Hate Incident/Crime based on disability
Feeling and being unsafe through violence, harassment or negative stereotyping has a significant impact on disabled people's sense of security and wellbeing, and their ability to actively participate in their communities. Not all disabilities are visible, but people can experience hate incidents/crimes based on disability nonetheless.
Find out more
- Citizens Advice offers guidance on recognising hate incidents/crimes and advice on how to report.
- 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 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.