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Covering your tracks

Reporting hate crime

By Janaki Mistry, 26 January 2017

Hate crimes and hate incidents are when someone is abusive, harasses you, makes threats or is violent towards you because of your identity – this could be because of your gender, your race or ethnicity, or your religion or belief.

The number of reported hate crimes increased last year and recent research has shown the conviction rate of hate crime (the number of people found guilty of committing a hate crime) has also increased over the year in some areas of the country, like Bedfordshire. Thanks to third-party reporting centres like Victim Support, more people are coming forward to report hate crime.  


Importance of reporting hate crime

If you’ve experienced hate crime or any other crime, you might not feel comfortable reporting it to the police. If you feel uncomfortable or scared, you can always choose to report it to organisations that offer free and confidential support, like Victim Support, or Citizens Advice.

You might also feel more comfortable talking to someone you’re familiar with, such as someone at your local place of worship or someone who works at your local youth club.

Reporting a hate crime means you can get the help and support you deserve. It also means there’s a greater chance criminals will be caught by the police.  


What to do if you witness a hate crime                                  

If you think you’ve witnessed a hate crime, there are some things you can do to help you deal with the situation.

Writing down notes of the event is useful if the person affected wants to report the crime but doesn’t remember details like what the abuser was wearing. Even if you don’t know the victim, advising them to report the crime to the police or a responsible adult means the criminal will more likely be stopped.

It’s also important to remember to stay safe. Sometimes verbal abuse can become violent and it’s possible you could be hurt if you try to physically get involved. If possible, try and find a nearby police officer or responsible adult that could help with the situation. 


How to report a hate crime

There are number of ways you can report a hate crime. You should only call 999 in an emergency when the crime has resulted in an injury or someone’s life is at risk.

You can call our free Supportline on 0808 1689 111 (24-hours at the weekend, 8pm-8am in the week) to speak to us or find out about the support available near to you through our website.

Other organisations you can contact are:


Get help if you’re feeling worried about hate crime and don’t know how to cope

If you feel worried about experiencing hate crime, you can always ask for help and find ways to help you if you feel like you’re not coping


How you can help

If you’re worried about a friend or a relative and believe they’ve been a victim of hate crime, or if you want to help out in any way you can, get involved with You & Co’s work. You can work in your school as a peer mentor or join our National Youth Forum to share your ideas about what You & Co should do to help young victims of crime.