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Why identifying and reporting hate crime is important

National Hate Crime Awareness Week logoIn this article:

  • What is hate crime?
  • What are we doing at Brandon?
  • Why should we report hate crime?
  • How to report a hate crime

What is hate crime?

At Brandon, we are committed to raising awareness of hate crime, which sadly for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, often goes unreported.

A crime is an act which breaks the law. A crime becomes a hate crime when it is motivated by hostility or prejudice toward a protected characteristic. This could be your:

  • Ethnicity or race
  • Disability (including mental health conditions)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Religion or faith
  • Age
  • Gender

A sad looking woman sitting with an open a laptopHate crime is most often a physical attack, name calling or verbal abuse. It could also include:

  • Threats, harassment or intimidation
  • Offensive gestures, humiliation or degradation
  • Vandalism or criminal damage to your property
  • Offensive letters, leaflets, or graffiti
  • Abusive emails, texts, phone calls or other forms of cyberbullying

What are we doing at Brandon?

Brandon support workers are trained and provided with information to ensure the people we support are protected and, should it be required, are enabled to report hate crimes to the police.

We work with people we support to make them aware of the types of hate crime they could experience and support them to report any incidents that may occur.

We are also a member of the Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services partnership, which offers free and confidential support including:

  • Support to help someone with the emotional, physical and mental trauma caused by hate crime
  • Support to look at their options for taking action to resolve their case
  • Work with statutory and voluntary agencies on the individual’s behalf, to encourage them to take action, to get updates, and to ensure that they do the right thing
  • Support through legal proceedings relating to an individual’s case
  • Help to make complaints against other agencies
  • Make referrals to other services that may be needed

Why should we report hate crime?

Brandon hate crime trainers standing next to a banner by Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services bannerBrandon is working to raise awareness that hate crimes should always be reported to the police. By reporting them when they happen, we may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else. Reporting incidents will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in their local area so they can better respond to it.

How to report Hate Crime?

Whether you have been a victim or a witness, or are reporting a hate crime on behalf of someone else, you can report a hate crime by:

  • Calling 999 in an emergency or 112
  • You do not have to give your personal details to the police, but it will be harder to investigate and prosecute the offender(s) if the police cannot contact the person making the report
  • You can report online at Report hate crime | Police.UK

If you do not want to talk to the police or fill in the reporting forms, you can still report a hate crime anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via the Crimestoppers website.