Hate crime

What a hate crime is, what a hate incident is.

What a hate crime is

A hate crime is any crime that the victim – or anyone else – thinks is motivated by prejudice against someone's: 

  • race or ethnicity
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • transgender identity

Hate crime can include things like:

  • verbal abuse
  • physical attack
  • offensive literature
  • graffiti
  • damage to property
  • setting fire to property on purpose

You can read the full definition and find out more about hate crime on the Crown Prosecution Service website.

What a hate incident is

If something is not a crime, it may be a hate incident if the victim – or anyone else – thinks it was motivated by prejudice.

Hate incidents can include things like:

  • verbal abuse, like name-calling and offensive jokes 
  • harassment 
  • bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers 
  • hoax calls 
  • online abuse – for example, on Facebook or Twitter 
  • throwing rubbish into a garden 
  • malicious complaints – for example, complaints about parking, smells or noise 

If you believe something is a hate incident rather than a hate crime, you should still report it.