What is a hate crime?:

A 'hate crime' is a criminal behaviour that is carried out by a perpetrator and is motivated by hostility in relation to the victim's 'protected characteristics'.  These include disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

A hate crime can include verbal abuse (such as racial slurs), intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property. 

An example of this may be: when walking down the street, you hear an individual shouting homophobic slurs at someone. This is a hate crime because the abuse is in relation to someone's sexual orientation. This is a protected characteristic. 

Reporting a hate crime:
The police don't tolerate hate crime, why should you? Reporting hate crime makes a difference. You can help prevent a hate crime happening to someone else in your community and other communities, and you can help the Police better understand hate crime and improve their responses to it, including making arrests. If you do not feel comfortable contacting the Police directly, The What? Centre can do so on your behalf. We can keep your identity anonymous, or pass on your details – whichever you prefer. 


The police take crime particularly seriously when they are motivated by hatred. Your report will be forwarded immediately to the relevant police force for investigation but it may not receive attention for several hours.

For this reason if you are reporting an incident where:

  • The offender is still present
  • You or anyone else is seriously hurt or in danger
  • You think the offender may return

we would urge you to call 999 and the police will respond immediately.

To report a hate crime through The What? Centre, please call us on 01384 379992. Alternatively, email us at [email protected]