What is a hate crime?

“Any crime that is motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity” (Home Office, 2016). This covers incitement to offences as well as communications both offline and online.

What is a hate incident?

Any non-crime incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s (perceived) race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity (Home Office, 2016).

I’m confused.

This is understandable. The line between what is a hate incident and what is a hate crime is not entirely clear because most people do not know (and cannot be expected to know) what exactly constitutes a criminal offence. It is for this precise reason that reporting is important. By reporting the incident to Europia, with its hate crime experience and legal support, or by reporting to the police, you do not have to worry about the difference between a hate incident and a hate crime. Both are treated with equal seriousness.

After reporting

If you have decided to remain anonymous, the police cannot investigate the report further. However, the incident can contribute to national statistics on hate crimes and hate incidents, which have a big influence. For example, the police can decide to step up patrols in a certain area or at certain times, or councils can choose to allocate more funding to reporting centres such as Europia.

If you decide to make an official report to the police, they will then investigate and decide whether any criminal offence has been committed. If a criminal offence has been committed, they will then gather evidence and decide if there is enough to take the case to court. At this point, the case is passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service. Conviction rates at this stage are very high – between 75 – 90% across the North West.

Learn about how to report a hate crime here.