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Hate crime

A hate crime or incident is any offence perceived by the victim or any other person, whether a witness, friend or family member, as being motivated by prejudice or hate. A hate incident becomes a hate crime when the offence breaks the law.

Reasons for the crime can be based on:

  • race or perceived race
  • religion or perceived religion (or no religion)
  • sexuality or perceived sexuality
  • transgender or perceived transgender
  • disability or perceived disability
  • individual characteristics (alternative lifestyles, dress style, physical appearance, culture)
  • gender based hostility

If you have witnessed crime or an incident and it is an emergency please call 999.

Hate crimes or incidents can come in many different forms and varying degrees of seriousness

Some examples reported in the past include:

  • verbal insults or abusive gestures
  • verbal abuse
  • threat of attack or bullying
  • offensive letters or e-mails
  • abusive or threatening phone calls, texts, e-mails or letters
  • malicious complaints
  • physical attacks
  • physical assaults, which can include a minor push, as well as more serious assaults
  • damage to a victim's house, shed, car or any other property they own
  • offensive graffiti
  • neighbour disputes
  • rubbish thrown in to a garden or dumped near to a home
  • eggs or stones thrown at a house
  • offensive or dangerous substances posted through letterboxes
  • arson

Why you should report

When speaking out or reporting incidents you do not have to press charges against people. You can simply record that you perceived the incident to have happened.

Control over what will happen lies with you; however, if you do report the incident, your concerns will be dealt with in a way that will ensure your confidentiality.

Report a hate crime

If you would like to report a hate incident or crime you can do one of the following:

We work in partnership with Stop Hate UK, the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and West Northamptonshire Council against hate crime across Northamptonshire.

Stop Hate UK is an independent and confidential service, working alongside local partnerships to:

  • tackle hate crime and discrimination
  • encourage reporting
  • support the individuals and communities it affects.

They provide a toolkit to help improve local responses to hate crime and an alternative for people who do not wish to report it to the police or other statutory agencies. Their helplines enable people to access independent support and information, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and can be contacted in numerous ways.

All their operators are trained and experienced on all hate issues, including online hate with a specialist team that can effectively advise callers use their ‘preferred flagger’ status to get offending items removed where appropriate.

Last updated 08 February 2022