A hate crime is any crime that is targeted against a person because of their:
- disability or learning difficulties
- race or the colour of their skin
- gender identity, such as being transsexual
- sexual orientation, such as being gay, bisexual or other.
Not every crime committed against a person in one of these groups is a hate crime.
It is only a hate crime if the offender targeted that person because of this reason. If a crime happened, but not because of a person's race/gender/religion etc. then it's not a hate crime.
A crime can also be a hate crime if the victim was targeted because it was believed that they were one of the above. For example, if someone targets you because they think you are gay, when in fact you are not, then you may also be a victim of a hate crime.
Hate crimes can take almost any form. Assaults, harassment or damage to property can all be hate crimes, if the victim was targeted for one of the reasons above. They can take place anywhere - in the street, on a bus, at work, at school or online.
What is a 'hate incident'?
Sometimes an incident occurs that is believed to be motivated by hate but a crime has not occurred. These are called ‘hate incidents’.
Both hate crimes and hate incidents can have a severe impact on the person who they are targeted against. Police encourage incidents to be reported too so that they are aware of the problem. They can offer support to people affected, and in some cases step in to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Remember, don’t ignore hate. Report it.
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