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About Hate Crime

What are hate incidents and hate crimes? 


Hate incidents and hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.  


Anyone can be the victim of a hate incident. For example, you may have been targeted because you were wearing a head scarf, because you have a disabled child or because someone thought you were gay even though you’re not. 


The Police and Crown Prosecution Service have agreed a common definition of hate incidents. They say something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things: 


  • disability 

  • race 

  • religion 

  • transgender identity 

  • sexual orientation 


This means that if you believe something is a hate incident it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to. All police forces record hate incidents based on these five personal characteristics. 


When a hate incident becomes a criminal offence, it’s known as a hate crime. 


What is an LGBTQ+ Hate Crime or Incident? 


If someone has been violent or hostile towards you because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, this is known as a homophobic or transphobic hate incident. Hate incidents can happen anywhere. Sometimes you may know the person who attacked you, but often hate incidents are carried out by strangers. 


There are no specific homophobic or transphobic hate crimes – any criminal offence can be a hate crime if the offender targeted you because of their prejudice or hostility against LGBTQ+ people. 


Homophobic and transphobic hate incidents can take many forms, including: 


  • verbal and physical abuse 

  • physical violence 

  • unwanted sexual contact 

  • teasing 

  • bullying 

  • threatening behaviour 

  • online abuse 

  • damage to property 


It can be a one-off incident or part of an ongoing campaign of harassment or intimidation.  


If you feel that you or someone you know has been the victim of a LGBTQ+ hate crime, we can help you. Find our contact details here. 

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