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Hate crime - prevent it, report it!

According to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) and ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers), hate crime is defined as:

“Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by a hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.”

A hate crime may include a range of offences, including:

  • arson
  • bullying
  • criminal damage to property or a place of residence
  • harassment
  • physical assault
  • sending offensive phone texts
  • threats
  • verbal abuse and other offensive behaviour

Download the hate crime, easy read (PDF, 497kb) information sheet.

What is a hate incident

ACPO define a Hate Incident as “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.”

There are a range of options for people to seek support and/or report a hate crime or hate incident both locally and London wide and nationally.

Why it's important to report

  • we need to know which groups of people are victims so that we can support them
  • at least half of all hate crime isn't reported to the police, meaning a large number of people are not getting the help they deserve
  • people who commit hate crimes and aren't prosecuted may target other people - if people report, the number of crimes may decrease and less people will be hurt

How to report

Emergencies (if the crime is happening now or if anyone is in immediate danger)

  • dial 999


  • contact the police on 101 (available 24 hours)
  • contact 101 to speak to local safer neighbourhood teams
  • see the Metropolitan Police website for more information

Some victims or witnesses may not wish to report directly to the police or may seek specialist support. For details of other reporting and support services, follow the link to local support contacts.

Page last updated: 15 November 2021

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