Did you know hate crime is ‘any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic’?
Did you know that evidence of the hate element is not a requirement? It would be enough if another person, a witness or even a police officer thought that the incident was hate related.
Types of hate crimes are physical assault, verbal abuse and incitement to hatred. The latter 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 online.
We have recently assisted a lovely Asian family with a young daughter who were recently assaulted in Colchester, after a malicious and incorrect social media post, accused them of taking photos of other peoples’ children. The assault was reported through normal channels and as a hate incident.
The difference in reporting is in the follow up. Hate crime support is personalised and victims get more chance to express their feelings. In addition, the information makes an essential picture of the nature and type of Hate Crime that informs the police and helps them be proactive.
The family have been well supported by the police and by our caseworkers who have done their best to assist them in feeling confident to report the crimes. Prosecutions are taking place now.
Reporting hate crime, is important as you may be able to prevent it from happening again to you or to somebody else. Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police.
We have recently shared the 2020 Essex Police Hate Crime leaflet in 6 languages. Please help us sharing them with whoever may need them:
You can report hate crime online or by phone, directly with the Essex police or a reporting centre such as Refugees Action – Colchester. Alternatively, you can visit a police station in person and talk to if to an officer in person, in a safe and comfortable environment.
In case of an emergency
If you find yourself in a situation that feel like could get heated or violent or think that someone in in immediate danger and need help straight away, please call 999. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, you can use the police textphone service 18000 or text them on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergency SMS service.