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If you've ever been abused, assaulted, targeted or intimidated because of who you are, you may have been the victim of a hate crime or hate incident.

These are incidents or offences which are motivated by hostility, prejudice or hatred towards someone's actual or perceived:

Mate crime is a rapidly increasing problem across the country and is defined as:

“the exploitation, abuse or theft from any vulnerable person by those they consider to be their friends. Those that commit such abuse or theft are often referred to as 'fake friends'.” Mate crime is most prevalent when the victim suffers with a mental disability and is especially common when that disability is Autism or Asperger’s. Please see the links below for some useful guidance on how to spot, and how to deal with mate crime (Hampshire Constabulary is not responsible for the content of external sites):

http://arcuk.org.uk/safetynet/files/2012/08/RCC-Mate-crime-PCJA.pdf

http://documents.hants.gov.uk/adultservices/safeguarding/MateCrimeGoodPracticeGuidance.pdf

http://arcuk.org.uk/safetynet/

Hate incidents and hate crimes are cowardly and unacceptable and the police are here to help support the victims and bring the offenders to justice.

Please use the following links to navigate you way through this page:

 

How can I report hate incidents and hate crimes to the police?

If it's happening now, or the offender is still nearby, call 999 immediately.

If it's less urgent, call the police on 101.

Whenever you call us, please tell us that you are reporting a hate incident.

You can always speak with us in confidence and, if you prefer, anonymously.

If you don't want to speak to the police directly, tell a friend, relative or carer. If you want to report the incident to us, they can do it on your behalf.

You don't have to be the victim, or even know the victim, of a hate incident to report it to the police. If you witness an incident, or someone tells you about one, you can report it to us on their behalf.

Have you downloaded the 'Helping Victims of Hate Crime' app?

How else can I report hate incidents and hate crimes?

There are many ways you can report hate incidents and hate crimes.

The important thing is that you tell someone about it.

You can always report online via the True Vision website which is especially dedicated to hate crimes and hate incidents.

You can contact the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111 where you can leave information anonymously.

Your local council may also have the facilities available to take details of crimes and incidents.

Community support services too are often available to speak to and we have listed some below.

Examples of hate incidents and hate crimes

Physical abuse - spitting, punching, kicking, slapping, pushing or behaviour which leads to physical injury

Threats - threatening words or behaviour e.g. "I'm going to beat you up" or "I'm going to get you and your family"

Verbal abuse - name calling, swearing, using derogatory, insulting terms about an individual

Sexual abuse - this can be abuse including degradation, rape, assault

Written/printed abuse - letters by post, leaflets or posters using prejudiced language, abusive text messages, graffiti or using insulting language or images written/drawn onto property

Indirect attacks - on property and/or a home, e.g. eggs/stones thrown at property, tyres slashed, windows broken, property stolen

Harassment - persistent intimidating or threatening behaviour which is spread over a period of time

Exclusion or isolation - being refused services or entry to a business or public space

Who can be a victim of hate crime?

You don't have to be elderly, disabled, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, from a minority ethnic background or from a particular religion or faith to be the victim of a hate crime.

If the offender believes you are, or even if someone else thinks you've been targeted for that reason, it's a hate incident and should be reported to the police.

Hate incidents may or may not be a criminal offence. It doesn't matter if you're not sure, report it to the police. We take all reports of hate incidents seriously.

Definition of a hate incident: 'Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate based on age, disability, gender, homophobia, racism, religion, transphobia'.

What are the police doing about hate crimes?

The police are here to help.

Hampshire Constabulary is committed to investigating all crimes and incidents motivated by hate, supporting the victims and bringing the offenders to justice.

We can help you get the support you need through the court process, preparing your statement and giving evidence either in person, in writing or via video so you may not have to appear in front of the defendant.

We'll work hard to ensure the offenders are prosecuted. When they come to court and are convicted, they can expect tougher punishments because crimes motivated by hate carry longer sentences.

All police officers and police community support officers can help support victims of hate crimes and hate incidents.

The force also has specially trained staff, such as Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers and Disability Champions, who have an extra understanding in their areas of expertise.

We also work with our partner agencies in local authorities, education and community groups to raise awareness about hate crime and how to report it and make sure individuals can get access to the support they need.

Why should I report hate incidents and hate crimes?

Hate incidents and hate crimes are cowardly and unacceptable and no-one should have to put up with this sort of abusive behaviour.

As well as the victim, such offences can also affect family members and sometimes a whole section of the community.

Don't suffer in silence; speak to the police, a friend, relative, carer, teacher.

Don't let them get away with it; it might be that whoever has done this is targeting other people more vulnerable than you and may not understand how hurtful their behaviour is.

The more we know about hate incidents and hate crimes, the more we can do about them; it's important the police know as much as possible about this sort of behaviour, where it's happening and to whom, so we can allocate our resources effectively to working with our partners and tackling the problems.

What can the police do about bullying?

Bullying isn't just pushing and shoving or name-calling and it's not something you have to accept.

Prolonged bullying can have significant long-term effects on both young people and adults.

For young people in particular, being bullied because of the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation, a disability, gender identity, faith, the way they look, can be especially traumatic.

It doesn't just happen in schools: it also affects people in the street, in the workplace or online via the internet, through social media and smartphones. 

Police officers from across the force work with schools, colleges and education authorities on an ongoing basis to encourage young people to report bullying.

We have a strong awareness of the issues of hate crime, bullying, harassment and criminal discrimination which we can share with our partners.

We want to nip bullying in the bud, to eradicate it early so young people can enjoy their school years.

What is being done to improve service to hate crime victims?

The Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel is an independent body that oversees the work of criminal justice agencies in responding to hate crimes.

You can find out more about its work and updates from its latest meeting on the Wessex Crown Prosecution Service website.