What is Hate Crime?
The term ‘hate crime’ can be used to describe any crime or incident where the perpetrator is motivated by, or demonstrates, hostility or prejudice towards the victim because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity or if the victim is perceived to have those characteristics. Anyone could be a victim of hate crime.
Hate crimes can be committed against a person, or against property.
A hate crime or incident could include:
Name calling, making fun of someone,verbal abuse
Physical contact such as touching, pushing, hitting
Refusing to provide a service
Bullying and harassment
Taking, stealing or damaging someone’s property
Racist or Religious Hate Crimes
This includes any crimes which are perceived, by the victim or by anyone else, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race, ethnicity or religion. Religion includes every faith and none. This category includes offences against people from Roma, Traveller and Gypsy communities.
Disability Hate Crimes
These include crimes which are perceived by the victim or anyone else to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability. The Equality Act defines a disabled person as someone with a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, multiple sclerosis or HIV then you meet this definition from the day of diagnosis.
Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crimes
A homophobic hate crime is one which is perceived by the victim or anyone else to be motivated by hostility based on a person’s sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.
A transphobic hate crime is one which is perceived by the victim or anyone else to be motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.
Some police forces also collect data about crimes committed against people because of their age, or membership of another group such as punks or Goths.
Other crimes related to hate crime
Bullying and harassment
There is no legal definition of bullying, but it can include any behaviour which is intended to hurt the victim emotionally or physically.
Harassment is a criminal offence and is defined in slightly different ways depending on what offence is involved. However any repeated behaviour which is done to cause alarm or distress could be harassment.
Mate crime is when someone befriends a vulnerable person, and then takes advantage of them, financially, physically or sexually. If someone is taking money from you, hurting you or making you do things you don’t want to, that person is not your friend.
This is abuse which takes place in the context of a relationship or family. It can be physical, verbal, financial, sexual and emotional abuse, coercive control, digital and online abuse and honour-based violence. It can be between partners in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, siblings, parents and children or any relationship. Women and men can be victims of domestic abuse.
This can be a form of domestic abuse but may also take place between people who know each other but don’t live together. If someone tries to control your money to exert their power over you, that could be financial abuse. It might include taking money, or a bank card, from a victim, or demanding that the victim takes out debts in the perpetrator’s name. The perpetrator might insist that the victim asks other people for money.
This is any form of bullying which takes place online e.g. through social networking sites, messaging apps, gaming sites and chat rooms. It can include harassment, sharing fake rumours or photos, impersonating someone else online, stalking, sharing personal information about someone without their consent, or excluding someone from a social group deliberately in order to hurt them. It can take the form of blackmail, by threatening to share information or images unless the victim does something for the perpetrator, or “revenge porn” where someone you have shared images with puts them online to distress you.
Useful links and information from other sources can be found here.