Hate Crime

A hate crime is any criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate towards a person’s protected characteristic.

A hate incident is any non-criminal incident perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate towards a person’s protected characteristic.

Protected characteristics:

  • Disability
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Transgender identity

Hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, physical assault, harassment and damage to property.

It is recognised that a hate incident can be just as damaging to victims as hate crimes and we know that incidents can lead to the identification of crimes. An investigation of hate incidents will ensure we detect any criminal offences.

If someone is bullied as a result of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity this is also dealt with, either as a hate crime or non-crime hate incident. Bullying can be name-calling, being spat at or kicked, or having your things taken or damaged.  

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Anyone could be a victim. For example, you may have been targeted because of your association to a protected characteristic such as you have a disabled sibling, or because someone thinks you are gay, even if you are not.

The perpetrator can be a stranger but they could also be a friend, carer or acquaintance who exploits their relationship with the victim for financial gain or some other criminal purpose.

Nobody should have to live with the fear and anxiety that hate crimes and incidents cause. Not only is there a significant impact on victims, but it can also affect family, friends and others in the community.

It is everyone’s responsibility to tackle hate crimes and incidents. To truly achieve this, we need to work with as many people as possible; with organisations, community groups, third sector groups and members of the public, to raise awareness of the issues and the support available to victims and witnesses.

This work is led by Prejudice Free Dorset which seeks to promote inclusive communities across Dorset. It is a partnership organisation made up of members from various public and private sector organisations across Dorset, including other third sector community groups.

Find out more at www.prejudice-free-dorset.co.uk 

Reporting

By reporting hate crimes or incidents, whether you are a victim, a witness or you are reporting on behalf of someone else, you may prevent it happening to someone else. 

Even if an incident may not constitute a criminal offence it can be just as damaging. 

We need to know it is happening so we can understand the extent and impact of discrimination or prejudice and can better respond to it.

There are a number of ways to report hate incidents and crimes:

To Dorset Police:

  • In an emergency dial 999
  • Dial 101 for non emergency matters
  • Report online to Dorset Police

If you are deaf or have a speech impairment click here for reporting and contact information.  

You can also report online at True Vision:

True Vision's online reporting facility has been developed so that you can report hate crimes online, if you do not want to report directly to the police. The police take hate crime very seriously and will record and investigate offences even if you do not want to give your details. However, you must note that the investigation and ability to prosecute is more limited if the police cannot contact you.

The police will not pass on your details without your consent and would ask you to consider giving your details confidentially.

 

A smartphone app is also available to help with reporting - details are available further down this page. 

 

In some cases it may be necessary to signpost victims to supporting agencies, this may be for aftercare for after reporting, advocacy to assist in the reporting and investigation process or to highlight that there are groups available that they may wish to contact just to talk through their experiences.

A list of supporting agencies can be found on this page and by visiting the People, Confidence and Equality pages on our website.

Intercom Trust

Intercom Trust offers support and advocacy on issues such as homophobic or transphobic attacks, discrimination, abuse, bullying, harassment, accessing goods and services, employment and sexual orientation / gender identity. 

As part of this service they can provide you with information and support to empower you to speak up with agencies or statutory authorities. 

The Helpline and Advocacy Service are staffed by professional and trained workers and volunteers.

For more information please contact 0800 612 3010, email Andy@intercomtrust.org.uk or write to: 

Help and Information
The Intercom Trust
PO Box 285
Exeter
EX4 3ZT

 

Dorset Race Equality Council

Dorset Race Equality Council works in partnership with all Dorset Councils to provide an advocacy service for minority ethnic individuals. They help anyone who feels that they have received a poor service or have been treated differently because of their race, religion, faith or belief. They also help victims of abuse, harassment or violence (Hate Crimes).

The Community Advocate remains independent from all local statutory bodies but has strong links and partnerships within them to be able to resolve any issues. They discuss a course of action with each client, and act in the best interests of the client at all times.

For more information please contact their office on 01202 392954. Alternatively email enquiries@dorsetrec.org.uk

 

Dorset Advocacy

Dorset Advocacy exists to create and support one to one partnerships between people who have learning disabilities and volunteer advocates. Through these partnerships, people who have a learning disability can speak up, promote their interests, and play a fuller part in the life of their community.

For more information please contact 01305 251033 or email enquiries@dorsetadvocacy.co.uk

The priority for us is to ensure that victims of hate crimes and incidents are supported and are not at immediate risk of harm. 

Each hate crime or incident that is reported to us is recorded and assessed. It will then be allocated to the appropriate officer or staff member to make contact with you. 

Unless you are a repeat victim or there is immediate threat or risk to you, this contact will not be made immediately. This is not because we do not think what has happened is important, it just means that we can provide the most appropriate response. 

If what you report is deemed as a hate incident, with no crime or evidence to prove a crime has been committed, this does not mean that we do not believe you. Whilst there may be no further police action, the incident will have been recorded and we will refer you to local organisations, with your permission, who will be able to provide further support.

If there is evidence to support a prosecution we will gather all the evidence possible to present the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a decision as to whether the evidence is enough to take to court. We will want to take a personal statement from you so that the impact of the hate crime is understood. Again, with your permission, we will refer you to local organisations who will be able to provide further support.

A diary is available on the right of this page to help you record as much information as possible about what has happened to you or someone else, to assist with evidence gathering.

 

In some cases it may be necessary to signpost victims to supporting agencies, this may be for aftercare for after reporting, advocacy to assist in the reporting and investigation process or to highlight that there are groups available that they may wish to contact just to talk through their experiences.

A list of supporting agencies can be found on this page or by visiting the People, Confidence and Equality pages on our website. 

Easy Read Materials

Hate Crime2 App

Working together to help victims of hate crime, Dorset Police, Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council have launched a pioneering App for iPhone and Android smartphones, produced to help victims of hate crime.  The App helps the most vulnerable members of society understand how to deal with the traumatic effect of such crimes, why it happens, how to report it and where to seek help and support.

Hate crime is widely under reported and we know this through our work with communities and supporting agencies.  The App allows individuals to report in the moment and in the privacy of their own safe environment. 

To download the App, please scan the relevant QR code or visit the relevant App store (Google Play or iTunes) for your device and use the search facility by typing 'Hate Crime2'.

Android QR code
Android
iphone QR code
iPhone

Prejudice Free Dorset

Prejudice Free Dorset is a partnership organisation that seeks to promote inclusive communities across Dorset. The group works together to challenge prejudice in Dorset so that all individuals can go about their daily lives safely and with confidence.

Prejudice Free Dorset members include: Dorset Police, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Bournemouth Borough Council, Borough of Poole Council, Dorset County Council, Bournemouth University, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Victim Support, NHS and other third sector community groups.

Our message is clear: hate crime will never be tolerated, victims of crime will be supported and offenders will be brought to justice, where possible.

Support for victims of disability harassment or hate crime

Click here for more information about disability hate crime.

Download our guide to the support available for victims of disability harassment or hate crime below. 

British Sign Language

We have a video available which provides some important information about Hate Crime and Incidents communicated by British Sign Language. You can view these videos by following this link

To assist with evidence gathering, please use the below hate crime diary to help you record as much information as possible about what has happened to you or somebody else. A printed copy can be requested by emailing peopleandequality@dorset.pnn.police.uk

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