A hate incident or crime is any act of violence or hostility against a person or property that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person because of a particular protected characteristic. This can be an incident against a person or against property, and includes materials posted online. Some forms of harassment are considered a hate crime.  

Hate incidents
Some examples of hate incidents include:

  • verbal abuse such as name-calling and offensive jokes
  • harassment
  • bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers
  • physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
  • threats of violence
  • hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail
  • online abuse, for example on Facebook or Twitter
  • displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters
  • harm or damage to things such as your home, pet or vehicle
  • graffiti
  • arson
  • throwing rubbish into a garden
  • malicious complaints about, for example, parking, smells or noise
Hate crime
When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. A criminal offence is something that breaks the law. Some examples of hate crimes include:

  • assaults
  • criminal damage
  • harassment
  • murder
  • sexual assault
  • theft
  • fraud
  • burglary
  • hate mail
  • harassment

Race and religious hate crime 
Religious hate crimes and incidents are acts that target somebody because of the offender's hostility towards them or a group based on their faith, or lack of one. 

Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime
These are crimes committed directly against LGBTQ+ people, or where the suspect has mistakenly identified the victim as belonging to or associating with this group. 

Disability hate crime
A disability hate crime is any criminal offence that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victim's disability or perceived disability.

Citizens Advice provides further information on hate crime
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance on the different strands of hate crime 
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