Hate crime or hate incidents

A hate incident is any incident, which may or may not be a criminal offence. It can be perceived by the victim or any other person.


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

What is it and what can I do about it?

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

Victim experiences

Hate crimes or incidents can come in many different forms and varying degrees of seriousness. Below are just some examples reported in the past:

  • 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.

Places to report hate crime

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

​Further information

The documents below have further information on hate crime and hate incidents:

For further information please visit the Northants Police website.

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