Hate Crime

Hate crimes or prejudice-based incidents are defined as any incident, which may constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hostility towards a personal characteristic. The protected characteristics are:

  • Race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origin, including gypsies and travellers
  • Religion, belief or faith, including having no faith
  • Gender identity, including transphobia – resentment or fear of transgender people or transvestites
  • Disability or perceived disability– including physical, sensory, mental ill-health or learning disability or difficulty. It includes temporary disablement and life-limiting illness.
  • Sexual orientation, including homophobia – resentment or fear of gay, lesbian or bi-sexual people. Includes resentment or hatred of heterosexual people.

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 and other intimidating behaviour as groups or individuals.
  • Verbal abuse or insults, abusive gestures.
  • Other abuse – offensive leaflets and posters, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, unfounded and malicious complaints and bullying at home, on-line, in school or in the workplace.

Positive action

Prejudice based incidents are inexcusable and Essex Police will take positive action to solve crimes and safeguard individuals when incidents are reported. Many cases do go unreported for various reasons including fear or embarrassment. In order to keep you and other people safe it is important to report all hate incidents.

Find out more about the police response to hate crime on the Reporting Hate Crime page.

For further information, download the leaflets on the right of this page.

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