Hate Crime: What You Need To Know
Courtesy of Essex Police
A Hate Crime is defined as:
Any hate incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
Hate crime affects such a range of people that it’s difficult to define, but we describe it as any incident, which may be a criminal offence, motivated by prejudice or hatred towards a particular social group because of their:
* Race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins.
* Religion/Faith and can include no faith.
* Gender or gender identity often referred to as transphobia - resentment or fear of transgender people, transsexual people or transvestite people.
* Sexual orientation includes homophobia and is resentment or fear of gay, lesbian and bisexual people.
* Disability - Disability can be any sensory, physical, mental impairment or learning difficulties.
Hate crime can take many forms including:
* Physical attacks – such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson.
* Threat of attack – including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded, malicious complaints, dirty looks and intimidating stares, verbal abuse or insults and abusive gestures.
* Other abuse - offensive leaflets and posters, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, theft or fraud, bullying at home, online, school or in the workplace. Bullying can also be part of other forms of abuse, including neglect, emotional, financial, physical and sexual abuse.
What you can do?
* Firstly, recognise that what is happening to you is a hate crime.
* Secondly, understand that by reporting the incident you will get the help you need.
* Thirdly don’t suffer in silence. The help you need is available, call us now.
* In an emergency dial 999 or 112 (112 is a European equivalent number that works in UK.) For those with hearing or speech impairments use Minicom line: 01245 452828. There is a language line available to take details for those who do not speak English.
* Alternatively you can call the Non Emergency number for Essex Police on 101 to report any incident of crime.
* Other facilities to contact Essex Police for non-emergencies are the use of Type Talk via BT and Text Line 07624 800101.
What we can do for you?
* Any incidents that are defined as hate crime are referred to a dedicated specialist team of officers.
* These Hate Crime Officers have established links with other criminal justice agencies, as well as many public and voluntary sector organisations, that are able to provide you with other support and advice.
* Hate Crime Officers and local community groups work together to try and find a solution to the problem.
* Essex Police will treat all victims of crime in a professional and sensitive manner. We understand your concerns regarding confidentiality and will consult and advise you through every step of the investigation.
* If you feel that you are not confident in reporting the incident directly to the Police you can complete a ‘Hate Crime’ reporting form details are at the bottom of this page.
and you will be contacted by a trained investigator.
Hate Crime Officers will:
Provide support and reassurance, explain the criminal process and give you sufficient information so you can decide what you want to do. Give you guidance and get you help from our partner agencies, if required. Above all we will stay in touch and provide contact details where you can get the support you need. Essex Police will treat all victims of crime in a professional and sensitive manner. We understand your concerns regarding confidentiality and will consult and advise you through every step of the investigation.
What happens when police attend?
After you have reported a hate crime incident a Police officer will visit you and ask you a number of questions that have been designed to establish as much detail as possible about the offence. This will ensure an effective investigation can then take place.
In addition to the questions you will be asked to give an account of the incident in the form of a statement, the Police Officer in attendance will assist you in this process. The officer will consider and discuss an appropriate course of action with you; part of the process will be to and assess the risk posed to you by the offender, allowing Police to offer you the appropriate support.
If you feel you cannot call the Police Directly please either contact one of the third party reporting centres whose details you can find below or call Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 and report it anonymously. Your calls cannot be traced, nor recorded.
Will I need to go to Court?
The local Hate Crime Officers will look for a solution to your problem and although getting justice through the courts is important, each case is looked at individually and the wishes of the people involved are always considered.
If you are required to give evidence at Court you can receive support and advice from Her Majesty’s Courts Service, Witness Care Teams, Victim Support and Witness Service Volunteers who are all trained to deal sensitively with victims of Hate Crime. You will also be kept up to date with any progress. For those who are convicted of hate crimes, Probation Service has programmes to deter re-offending.
In some cases it may not be possible to take an offender to court even if you wish to, but that does not mean we cannot support you. There are a range of actions that can be considered. With your consent we can put you in touch with other local agencies and support groups that understand your specific needs.
Positive action Hate crime is inexcusable. We at Essex Police do not tolerate it and will take positive action if a crime is reported. However many incidents go unreported out of fear or embarrassment. Hate Crime Officers will assist you in dealing with whatever has happened to you.
It’s important to report hate crime because it gives us a chance to protect you and other people, but the first step is recognising it’s happening to you and you’re not to blame.
Not knowing what will happen when you report hate crime can be terrifying. You can visit http://www.essex.police.uk/be_safe/hate_crime/reporting_hate_crime.aspx where you’ll find information about our specially trained officers and what they can do to help. You’ll also find a list of organisations that can offer support and guidance.
Finally a word from Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris, hate crime lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO):
“Hate Crimes are corrosive in society; they have a greater impact on the victim but also cause harm to our communities. The police are committed to reducing the harm caused by hate crimes and to do so we need to encourage more victims to come forward and seek support. Only by reducing under-reporting can we see the full extent of these crimes and be in a position to work with partners to reduce the harm they cause.”
Essex Police Contacts: Dial 999 for emergency Non urgent calls: 101 Minicom number: 01245 452828 Text Phone number: 07624 800101 For more information or to report a crime online go to: http://www.report-it.org.uk/home
Hope Not Hate