Hate crime


What is a hate crime?

Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice toward that person’s:

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity
  • age
  • gender

A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of the hate crime.

Hate Crime Hub

Safer and Stronger North Somerset has advice and information about hate crime.

Find out more >

How can I report a hate crime?

There are several ways you can report a hate crime, whether you have been a victim, a witness, or you are reporting on behalf of someone else.

In an emergency, call 999 or 112

For a non-emergency:

  • tell us about it
  • call the police on 101
  • report online
  • report in person at council offices, libraries or housing offices

Why should you report a hate crime?

Hate crime in any form is wrong. If hate crime happens to you or someone you know, it is important that you report it.

Reporting makes a difference - to you, your friends and your community. By reporting hate crime when it happens, you can help stop it happening to someone else. You will also help the police, local councils, housing associations and other local organisations to build up patterns of behaviour locally, and highlight areas of concern within your community.

But more importantly, you can get the support you may need and help ensure that offenders are brought to justice and cannot do the same to other people.

What crimes can I report?

You should report all hate crimes and incidents.

Hate incidents can take many forms. These can include:

  • verbal abuse
  • threatening behaviour such as intimidation and aggression
  • threatening and/or abusive correspondence by letter, email, MSN, video or via social networking
  • threatening and/or abusive phone calls and text messages
  • criminal damage to personal belongings, buildings or vehicles
  • offensive graffiti or printed materials
  • physical attacks.

Hate incidents can happen anywhere:

  • at home
  • at work
  • at school or college
  • in the pub
  • in the supermarket.

What is a hate incident?

Hate incidents can feel like crimes to those who suffer them and often escalate to crimes or tension in a community. For this reason, the police are concerned about incidents and you should report them.

The police can only prosecute when the law is broken but can work with partners to try to prevent any escalation in seriousness.

Other organisations that can help

Education Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH)
Supports under 18s in North Somerset affected by homophobic, biphobic or transphobic harassment or bullying. 0808 1000 143 / www.each.education

Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI)
Provides support to victims of hate crime. 0117 942 0060 / www.sariweb.org.uk

North Somerset People First
Provides support to disabled people affected by hate crime. 01934 426086 / www.nspf.co.uk

North Somerset LGBT+ Forum
Provides support to members of the LGBT+ community, their friends and families within North Somerset. https://www.nslgbtforum.com/

VOCAS - Victims of Crime Advocacy Service
Free, independent and confidential advocacy service for adult victims of crime and anti-social behaviour living in Somerset, Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. 03333 44 7928 www.swanadvocacy.org.uk/vocas/

Multicultural Friendship Association
A friendship group which promotes companionship, tolerance, respect, solidarity and mutual trust and understanding through learning about our different cultures, traditions and beliefs. www.mfa-wsm.org.uk

BME Network
Promotes social inclusion by working with people in North Somerset who are socially excluded on the grounds of their ethnic origin. www.ns-bmenetwork.org