Hate crime

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

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

These types of crimes can be committed against people or property, and a victim doesn’t have to be a member of the group that the hostility is aimed at. Hate crimes where the law has been broken should be reported to the police.

Reporting hate crime

If you or someone you know has experienced hate crime, reporting it can stop it happening to someone else. Reporting it also helps the police better understand the level of hate crime in your area and to improve ways to respond to it.

Incidents can be reported by victims or witnesses. Incidents can range from verbal abuse, threatening or aggressive behaviour – even through letters, emails or social media – criminal damage to personal property, or physical attacks.

You should contact the police to report hate crime. You can:

  • call 999 if a crime is happening now or if someone is in immediate danger
  • call 101 if it’s not an emergency
  • fill in an online crime form on the Avon and Somerset Police website

You can also report hate crime anonymously to CrimeStoppers on their website or by calling 0800 555 111.

Support for people affected by hate crime

There are a number of local organisation offering support and advice.

emergencySMS service

The emergencySMS service lets people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech impediment contact the emergency service by texting 999. Mobile phone numbers must be registered with the service before it can be used.