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Hate crime - reporting and support

A hate incident is when the victim or anyone else thinks an incident, such as bullying or abuse, was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:

  • Disability (including physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities and mental health issues)
  • Race, skin colour, ethnic origin, nationality (including against gypsies and travellers)
  • Religion or belief (or lack of religious belief)
  • Sexual orientation (including homophobia)
  • Gender identity (including resentment of transgender people, transsexuals and transvestites)

When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. Any criminal offence can be a hate crime if it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation.

If you or someone you know has experienced hate crime, reporting it can stop it happening to someone else. Reporting it also helps the police better understand the level of hate crime in your area and to improve ways to respond to it.

  • Hate crimes can include:
  • Cyberbullying
  • Offensive letters or text messages (hate mail) or phone calls
  • Offensive leaflets and posters
  • Physical attacks such as assaults
  • Sexual harassment
  • Threats of an attack
  • Vandalism, criminal damage, graffiti or arson
  • Verbal abuse or abusive gestures

You can report a hate crime to the Police:

If someone is in immediate danger call 999

Support for victims of hate crime

If you have been a victim of a hate crime and would like support, or support with reporting a hate crime, please contact the hate crime support service in Somerset, which is called SARI. SARI is funded by Big Lottery to deliver the Every Victim Matters Hate Crime Service for Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset. You can contact them on:

phone: 0117 942 0060