Hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person based on their race / ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity.
The incident has happened
STEP 1: Incident Report
If you are worried about someone experiencing a hate crime, you should speak to the person first and tell them to report it to us.
If they do not want to, and you still suspect that they are experiencing a hate crime, you can report it to us on their behalf by calling 101.
Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable reporting this directly to us, you can report it to True Vision online here.
If you are not comfortable with speaking English, and this may stop you from reporting the incident accurately, you could ask someone you trust to help you report it to us.
Alternatively, in some cases we may be able to provide an interpreter.
If you believe that you have been targeted because of your race, ethnicity or background, please make you tell us this when you report this incident. This could include comments or attacks based on the colour of your skin, where you were born and or migrated to the UK from.
If you don’t know who did this, but have a description of the offender please provide as much detail as possible about the person such as:
- Skin colour
- Complexion – spots, skin tone, scars
- Distinguishing features – tattoos, accent
If this is affecting your mental or physical health, please make sure you speak to somebody and consider contacting your GP.
You could also contact Victim Support for specialist help and advice. Click here to read about mental health.
You can report hate crime anonymously to Crimestoppers which is an independent charity. Your call will not be traced or recorded. You can do this by going to www.crimestoppers-uk.org .
Alternatively, you can also report crime anonymously via True Vision, an online reporting tool. The details will be forwarded to the police. You can do this by going to www.report-it.org.uk/home.
You can also report this to one of our third party reporting centres. The majority will deal with all types of hate crime, but there are others which deal with a specific type. You can do this anonymously or by providing your details. They will then inform the police or submit the details via True Vision. You can see the list in the useful links section below.
If there is enough evidence to charge someone with this incident, a court hearing may be necessary and you may be asked to give evidence.
We understand that this can be quite daunting however there are many ways in which the police, courts and support workers can help to make giving evidence less traumatic.
Depending on the individual circumstances, a number of special measures can be applied for and put in place at court to put you at ease or if the victim is too young or vulnerable to give evidence in person.
- These measures can include:
- Use of screens to section off areas of the court from view
- A live TV link (so you don’t have to be in court to give evidence)
- Giving evidence in private
- Removal of wigs and gowns to make court personnel seem less intimidating
- Video recorded interviews can be played at court
- Special communication or techniques
- Use of intermediaries who can assist with communication difficulties
We know how difficult it can be to report incidents of this nature, however you should never be worried that reporting it to us will make the situation worse for you.
Our officers take reports very seriously and will be able to help and support you throughout the investigation. In addition if you feel that reporting the incident puts you at risk, then we can look at putting safeguarding measures in place.
STEP 2: Investigation
If you do choose to report it, an officer will contact you and ask you how you would like to talk to us about this crime. This could include us visiting your home, or talking to you elsewhere.
If you are happy for an officer to visit you, they will see you within eight hours of you reporting it.
Alternatively, we can arrange for you to come to a police station and talk to us about the hate crime you experienced, or we can meet you at a place that takes reports of hate crime across the West Midlands.
When you speak to an officer, they will then ask you to explain what happened and then write down what you have told them. This is called taking a statement.
If you are under 18 or require appropriate support you and an adult that you trust, be it a family member, a teacher etc., will be asked to sign the statement, so please ensure that you have a responsible adult with you when an officer visits.
During the conversation you will be asked a number of questions relating to the incident. We will ask you to explain what has happened, when it happened, and if there is any evidence that can help our investigation.
You will then be advised about what will happen next.
STEP 3: Resolution
If there is sufficient evidence, investigators will attempt to trace the suspect and question them about the offence. Officers will then look to resolve the matter to your satisfaction, which could include arresting and charging a suspect with the offence.