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What is a Hate-Crime?

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What Is A Hate Crime?

Hate crime is defined as a criminal offence committed against a person or their property that is motivated by hatred of someone because of their:

  • Race, colour, ethnicity or nationality 
  • Religion or beliefs
  • Gender or sexuality identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability (including disability due to ill mental health)
  • Age

Hate crime can take many forms for example if someone assalted you and used homophobic language, or written racist graffiti on your property / where you live. A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted; it's still a hate crime if someone makes a mistake about your identity (if you are assaulted because someone thinks your are Jewish, but you aren't. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime. 


What Can I Do If I'm A Victim Of A Hate Crime?

  • Get help immediately 
  • In an emergency, dial 999 or 112, or contact campus security on 01782 733 004
  • Make as much noise as you can to alert others
  • As soon as you can, go somewhere you know is safe
  • If you have been attacked and want to report to the police, don't shower or change your clothes as this may destroy evidence
  • If you are comfortable, tell the police why you think you were attacked
  • If you have had your keys taken, ensure you change the locks
  • If you are not confident telling the police, there are other reporting systems available. See Keele University's Stop Hate UK reporting page.


What Can I Do If I Witness A Hate Crime?

  • Call 999 or 112 
  • Let the police know what you've seen. Don't assume others will come forward. Many crucial witnesses walk away assuming others will report it.
  • Stay safe and alert.
  • Don't physically intervene - you could get hurt yourself.
  • If it is safe to do so, take a photograph or video on your mobile phone.
  • Record details of times, number plates, and descriptions. If you don't have a pen with you, leave a voice message on your mobile phone or write a draft text message. As soon as you have a pen and paper, write everything you saw and heard with as much detail as possible. 


Hate Incident Vs Hate Crime

Something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:

  • disability
  • race
  • religion
  • transgender identity
  • sexual orientation.

Anyone can be the victim of a hate incident. For example, you may have been targeted because someone thought you were gay, or because you have a disabled child.

If you’ve experienced something that wasn’t a crime, but you think it was motivated by prejudice against you, it’s a hate incident.

If you experience more than one hate incident by the same person or group of people, it might count as harassment. Harassment can be a crime. For example, it might be harassment if someone on your street keeps shouting abuse at you.