A hate crime is defined as ‘Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.’
A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police.
Physical assault of any kind is an offence. If you’ve been a victim of physical assault you should report it. Depending on the level of the violence used, a perpetrator may be charged with common assault, actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.
Verbal abuse, threats or name-calling can be a common and extremely unpleasant experience for minority groups.
Victims of verbal abuse are often unclear whether an offence has been committed or believe there is little they can do. However, there are laws in place to protect you from verbal abuse.
Incitement to hatred
The offence of incitement to hatred occurs when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. That could be in words, pictures, videos, music, and includes information posted on websites.
Hate content may include:
Is it an emergency?
Does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon? Is someone in immediate danger? Do you need support right away? If so, please call 999 now.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use textphone service 18000 or text 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.
Reporting a non-emergency hate crime
To report online, by phone or at a police station see the below link to full details:
Hate incident reporting centres
Also known as third-party reporting centres, these are places you can go for advice from trained people if you don’t want to go to the police.
A national organisation promoting ethnic diversity across sport and physical activity.
Sporting Equals has a legal aid support service for victims of racial discrimination which can be found here
Tackling Discrimination in Football
The Essex FA have a dedicated webpage on this here
Indirect & Direct Interventions
Intervening doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds; a bystander can either help from a distance or get directly involved. We have two main models of intervention: direct and indirect.
Indirect interventions are something you can do from a distance. This could be being a witness from a distance – you could give a statement on what you saw. You could simply ask the victim if they are ok.
Direct interventions are something you can do if you feel a little more confident – you could disapprove by shaking your head, distract by spilling a drink or even directly challenge the perpetrator. Ask, why are you doing that? How would you feel if someone did that to someone you love?
These interventions can make a real difference to those facing hate and are based on the Bystander Effect, a phenomenon which make it easy for individuals to think that someone else will step in. However, because of this, those facing hate often receive no help.
Anyone in the county can sign up to take part in 45 minute online module which will provide residents with information and guidance on what they could do if they saw inappropriate or threatening behaviour and gives advice on how they could address it in a safe way.
The online module has a particular focus on women’s safety and sexual harassment. Research conducted by our Safety Advisor Group in late 2021 found that 81% of women who responded were not confident that passers-by would help them if someone was acting inappropriately towards them.
The same research showed that 60% of male respondents and 70% of women respondents didn’t feel confident that they would be able to safely intervene if they saw someone behaving inappropriately towards a woman.
The module will help participants learn more about what sexual harassment looks like, the myths and stereotypes that continue to enable and facilitate sexual harassment in our communities, and the importance of people not colluding with these myths or minimising unacceptable behaviour.
The Bystander Intervention information module is open to anyone in the county and only takes 45 minutes. Sign up now.