What is it?
Hate crime is an incident which may or may not be a criminal offence but which is perceived by you as being motivated by prejudice or hate. This could be based on age, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity. A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone can be a victim of a hate crime. Hate crime can involve physical attacks and assaults, vandalism, criminal damage, verbal abuse, cyberbullying and financial exploitation to name but a few, and it can be committed against a person or property.
How do I know if I’m a victim?
It’s not always easy to know whether you are a victim of crime. Some people believe that they have to be physically harmed before it counts as a crime which is not the case. If a person is bullied or verbally attacked over their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identify, this is investigated as a hate crime. If you’re not sure, please report the incident to the police or any of the organisations below who will know whether action should be taken. Hate incidents can escalate and cause wider tensions in communities so it is important that the right steps are taken to resolve issues before they increase.
How to report it?
If you or someone you know is being bullied, harassed or verbally abused out of prejudice or hate, you can report the incident to police on the non-urgent 101 number or through the Stop Hate helpline on 0800 138 1625. Importantly, if there is an immediate threat to safety, always dial 999. You can also contact the police anonymously via the Crimestoppers scheme on 0800 555 111. If you see someone being victimised, please report it on their behalf. All hate crimes and incidents should be reported whether you are a victim or witness.
What to expect?
Police officers will do all they can to help you deal with what’s happened to you. They can arrange to meet you at a place of your choice where you feel comfortable and safe. They work with you and provide help, including making a statement explaining what has happened.
Where to get help?
Derbyshire County council have worked hard to develop the safe place scheme, which aims to stop the bullying and abuse of people with learning difficulties and help them feel safe and confident when out in the community. To find out more about this scheme and where the safe places are in your area please visit the Derbyshire County Council website.
The Police and Crime Commissioner funds organisations that provide support services for victims and witnesses in Derbyshire. These are free of charge and are available to anyone who lives in Derbyshire. For Hate Crime these support services are provided by Derbyshire Victim Services.
Derbyshire Victim Services
If you have ever been the victim of crime, or have been affected by a crime committed against someone close to you, Derbyshire Victim Services can provide all the help and support you need. Their local team offers a friendly, free and confidential service to anyone living in Derbyshire. It doesn’t matter if you reported the crime to the Police or not they are here to help you with any practical advice and emotional support.
Below are other organisations which will be able to offer help and support:
Stop Hate UK
Stop hate offer information and guidance to any one that may be affected by hate crime. The organisation works alongside local partnerships to tackle Hate Crime and discrimination, encourage reporting and support the individuals and communities it affects.
Stonewall is a national charity supporting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the country. They offer a wealth of advice on a whole range of subjects from understanding and reporting hate-crime to providing advice and information on discrimination.
Disability Direct operates to give disabled people reliable information and support, including support with hate-crime.
The group is Derbyshire’s only LGBT-specific support service for anyone who is LGBT or anyone who is having issues with their sexual identity or gender identity. They also provide services for child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse.