What is hate crime?
A hate crime is any behaviour that someone thinks was caused by hostility, prejudice or hatred of their:
- Disability (including physical impairments, mental health problems, learning disabilities, hearing and visual impairments
- Gender Identity (people who are transgender, transsexual or transvestite)
- Race, skin colour, nationality, ethnicity or heritage
- Religion, faith or belief (including people without a religious belief)
- Sexual orientation (people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual etc.)
It can include:
- name calling or verbal abuse
- graffiti or abusive writing
- damage to property
- threats or intimidation
- bullying or harassment
- physical attacks or violence, including sexual violence, arson and murder.
Anyone can be a victim of hate crime if they are targeted because of who they are, their friends or family or even who the perpetrator thinks they are.
Find out why reporting hate crime is so important in this short video:
Putting a stop to hate
In August, 2014, the hate crime sub-group of the Merseyside Criminal Justice Board, chaired by the Commissioner Jane Kennedy, launched a new strategy aimed at raising awareness of hate crime and increasing the reporting of incidents.
The focus of the Eradicating Hate Crime strategy was to bring all the different agencies together to prevent hate crime taking place, increase awareness and reporting and educate perpetrators.
Read more about this launch.
Reporting Hate Crime
- In an emergency you should always call Merseyside Police on 999
- Report it to the police using the non-emergency 101 number
- Contact Stop Hate UK
- Use a third party reporting centre
Stop Hate UK
Merseyside's Police Commissioner has funded national charity Stop Hate UK to deliver a pan-Merseyside 24/7 helpline for all victims of hate crime.
If you don't want to call the police, for any reason, Stop Hate UK can provide extra support.
Stop Hate UK is available 24 hours a day. The helpline is confidential and independent.
You can report a hate crime by:
Information about reporting hate crimes and about the Stop Hate Line is available form the charity in:
- English and more than 40 languages
- in large print and Braille
- in words and pictures
- as audio
- in British Sign Language
A number of Stop Hate Line operators speak other languages. If a caller wants to speak a language other than English, they need to tell the operator in English their name, phone number and the name of the language they speak. An interpreter will then call them back, usually within 72 hours.
People who contact the Stop Hate Line can remain anonymous if they wish and their contact details will only be shared with their consent.
Third party reporting centres
You can also report hate crime using a third party reporting centre. These are independent, non-police centres that allow you to report incidents in complete confidence.
There are now more than 70 third party reporting centres across Merseyside. At each centre, staff are trained to help victims get advice and support in a safe and secure environment.
They can help you to contact the police or Stop Hate UK and report any incidents of hate or abuse.
Centres can be identified by the logo to the left.
Find your nearest hate crime reporting centre by using the full list here.
To find out more about third-party reporting centres, or how to become one, contact the Commissioner's Community Engagement Officer Bill McAdams.
Merseyside's Criminal Justice Board, which is chaired by the Commissioner, has a sub-group dedicated to raising awareness and tackling hate crime. This hate crime sub-group is notified of events that are being held across the region to increase understanding, improve community cohesion and take a stand against hate crime. You can access a list of all these events here.
The following organisations provide support and help to victims of hate crime on Merseyside:
The National LGBT + Police Network supports police forces to develop knowledge and services that will enhance the service to the LGBT + community. It works to support forces to be representative and inclusive. You can found out more about the Network's work through their Twitter account or Facebook page.
Powerpoint version of the Merseyside Love Not Hate video: