What Exactly is Hate Crime?
Hate crime – any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s protected characteristic or perceived characteristic of age, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
Hate incident – any non-crime incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s protected characteristic or perceived characteristic of age, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender .
Hostility – ill-will, ill-feeling, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment and dislike.
Prejudice – preconceived opinion, bias, dislike and hostility.
Repeat Victimisation – where a person or immediate family member suffers more than one hate incident in a 12 month period following the date that the first incident or crime was reported.
Secondary victimisation – victims of hate crimes or incidents, who experience indifference or rejection from the police; this in fact victimises them for a second time. The police and partnership agencies are responsible for managing the interaction to ensure the victim has no residual feelings of secondary victimisation.
What is the Impact?
Hate crimes and incidents can ruin lives!
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 and friends and people in the community.
Hate crimes and incidents affect the victim in every area of their life, work, school and home. People who experience such crime may feel guilty, humiliated and too embarrassed to complain. These feelings are not right and so we are working hard to support any victim who has already taken the huge step of reporting to the police.
The stress of suffering hate crimes or incidents may lead to emotional symptoms such as loss of self-confidence and self-esteem. Quite often victims can feel:
- isolated and vulnerable loss of self-respect
- sense of self-blame
- loss of faith in the police and criminal justice system
- fearing reprisals
- sense of despair
- afraid to go out
- afraid to let children and family out
- suffering from emotional/mental stress
All of these feelings can impact on a person’s confidence in the police to report, particularly if they have had poor experiences previously or not been dealt with / not taken seriously in the past.
Disability Hate Crimes
For those victims with a disability, hate crimes and incidents can have a greater impact.
Disability hate crime has a profound effect on disabled people’s lives and we need to acknowledge that any failure to recognise, record and investigate appropriately can have a detrimental effect on any victim. To truly tackle disability hate crime there needs to be an increase in the number of crimes and incidents that are reported.
Disability is wide ranging and is often ‘hidden’ particularly for those with autism, learning disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health, as well as those with physical disabilities and sensory disabilities.
Dorset Police has signed up to the Mencap Stand by Me – Police Promise which remakes a commitment to standing by people with a learning disability to end hate crime.
Disability hate crime is not anti-social behaviour and it is imperative that it is identified and record it for what it is.
For those with a disability there are a number of ways you can report to us which are designed to take account of your needs. For more information please call 101 or use the non-emergency text service for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired on 07766 425243 or visit our website here for more options >
Issued: 12 October 2015