What is hate crime?
Racist hate crime
Racist hate crime relates to ‘any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person’ (Macpherson Report 19992). ‘Racist’ does not simply relate to colour, it may also relates to race, nationality, or to ethnic or national origins.
Homophobic crime and transphobic hate crime
Homophobic and transphobic hate crime relates to hostility and prejudice towards:
- lesbians, gay men, people who are bisexual;
- a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender; or
- people who are perceived to be in one of these groups.
Disability hate crime
Disability hate crime relates to hostility and prejudice towards disabled people or people perceived to be disabled. The Equality Act 2010 says that a disability is a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities
Other groups who may be victims of hate crime
- Those from different faith groups (such as anti Muslim incidents by non Muslims)
- Groups within faiths (sectarianism, for example based on previous hostility between Protestant and Catholics in Northern Ireland);
- Asylum seekers and refugees;
- Romany peoples and travellers;
- Vulnerable people who may be targeted by hate crimes because of age or frailty.
This list is not exhaustive.
Types of hate crime
Hate crime can involve acts including:
- physical attacks on people and property;
- intimidation and torment;
- arson or attempted arson;
- offensive comments;
- abusive or threatening behaviour such as in language, letters and phone calls;
- deliberate and targeted acts intended to deter residents from peacefully living in their home or to force them to move away; or
- online/cyber hate crime via sevrices such as social media.
This list is not exhaustive.
What should I do if I am a victim of hate crime or witness a hate crime?
If you are at immediate risk of harm, or you can see that someone else is, contact the police using the 999 number. You can also report information to the police using their non-emergency 101 or contact your local neighbourhood policing team.
Whether you are a victim or a witness, you can report harassment through any of the contact options below. We can and will help you.
- Report it via My Account, our secure online service for customers
- Report it via our online form (if you don't have access to myAccount)
- Get in touch with us by phone, post or visit one of our offices
How we treat a report of hate crime
We operate a zero-tolerance policy with regards to hate crime incidents – we will not tolerate such incidents under any circumstances.
- always take your complaint seriously;
- not talk to anyone about what you’ve said without you agreeing to it;
- act quickly to deal with the situation, for example to remove offensive graffiti and carry out repairs needed as a result of the incident as a matter of urgency;
- be honest with you about the possible outcome of the case;
- put you in contact with the best people to help you;
- support you to contact the police;
- where we are your landlow we will do everything possible to help you move to another home if the matter can’t be solved;
- support you to stay in your home if you don’t want to move;
- take legal action where needed; and
- allow you to give feedback on our handling of your case.
How we are working to prevent hate crime
We believe in more than just acting on reports of abuse. We aim to stop abuse from happening in the first place. To do this we will:
- tell customers about our hate crime policy;
- make sure our tenancy agreements allow us to take legal action against harassers where needed;
- tell people about legal action taken to stop harassment;
- not offer a home to you if we know that you are in danger of being abused in that home.
What support will I receive?
We recognise that victims of hate crime will, often require additional support. We will ensure that we treat victims of hate crime appropriately and proportionately.
We will adopt different approaches in different circumstances depending on what we discuss with you and agree is the best course of action. We are committed to tailoring our approach to the individuals affected.
What action will we take against perpetrators of hate crime?
The action we’ll take will depend on the evidence available. We may not be able to do much if:
- there’s not much evidence;
- the action isn’t witnessed; or
- evidence is contradictory.
We might need to gather more evidence before we can do anything to help. We might only be able to talk to the offender. But whatever happens, we’ll keep in touch until you’re happy that the matter has been resolved.
We’ll work with partners like the police if the evidence is clear and substantial (with your permission).
We’ll talk to the parents or guardians of any young people who commit a hate crime. The local youth service may also be contacted.
In severe cases we will consult with our legal advisors to consider criminal or civil proceedings – this may result in a fine, an injunction, an anti social behaviour order being awarded against an abuser or harasser.
We will treat all reports confidentially. Interviews and conversations with you about personal and sensitive matters will be carried out in private. You can meet staff in confidence at our offices or at another safe venue.
There are some cases where we have to share information with the police or social services, but we always try to ensure that we ask your permission and let you know how it will be used. However, we reserve the right to make a referral to social services or the police without permission, where the situation and the law justify this.
Other sources of support
The Samaritans offer a safe space to talk about any issues including by phone on 116 123.
Victim Support provides free and confidential support (phone 0808 16 89 111) to help cope with the impact of crime
Find out how to get in touchContact us