What is Hate Crime?
A hate crime/incident is when the action of another is thought by the victim (or any other person) to be motivated by hostility because of a protected characteristic. There are nine protected characteristics and they are:
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage or civil partnership
- Pregnancy and Maternity
What should I do if I witness a Hate Crime?
If the person who is being targeted is child or an adult with care and support needs, then the behaviour towards the person is abuse and this means it needs to be reported to as a safeguarded concern. The person who targeted or someone else can report this to Shropshire Councils First Point of Contact: 0345 678 9021 (if the person being targeted is a child) 0345 678 9044 (if the person being targeted is an adult with care and support needs).
If you are a professional or volunteer working with an adult with care and support needs who is being targeted, please also refer to our Safeguarding Process in Shropshire on our Multi-Agency Procedures pages before raising a safeguarding concern.
For more information and resources on hate crime (including disability hate crime and mate crime), please refer to the related links and documents on this page.
Shropshire Community Safety Partnership wants to encourage people to report hate crime or hate incidents either by directly contacting the police or through report-it.org
In Shropshire, agencies and organisations tackle Hate Crime and Hate Incidents through partnership working. People can report hate incidents either by directly contacting the police or by completing the online reporting form. This is part of a countywide approach that supports third party reporting. This is when a victim of a Hate Crime or Hate Incident or a witness prefers not to report it directly to the police, but still wants action to be taken and reports it to a non-police organisation.
Any information gathered from these reports helps agencies and organisations establish whether there are spikes in hate incidents and crimes or whether specific groups or areas are suffering from more incidents than others. Even if there is no requirement for the incident to be investigated it allows agencies and organisations to assess the number of incidents that are occurring and where.
Should I report it to the Police? And how do I?
- 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 in an emergency
- Emergency SMS text message
- Report online Report a crime | West Mercia Police
- Call 101 (non-emergency police number)
- Visit a local police station
What if I don't want to report Hate Crime directly to the Police?
Have you been the victim of a hate crime or hate incident, or a witness to one, and prefer not to report it directly to the police but still want action to be taken? The charities, groups and organisations below can offer support, advice and ways to report the incident without having to talk directly to the police:
- Crimestoppers- a national charity with a free helpline for reporting crime anonymously.
- Tell MAMA- a national project supporting victims of anti-Muslim hate and monitoring anti-Muslim incidents.
- Community Security Trust (CST)- a charity protecting British Jews from antisemitism and related threats.
- Galop- a national charity providing advice and support to members of the LGBT community.
- Stop Hate UK- a leading national organisation working to challenge all forms of hate crime and discrimination.
- West Mercia Victim Advice Line- free, confidential, emotional and practical support. Call 0800 952 3000 between Monday and Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm.
- Safety Net- prevents the exploitation of people with learning disabilities by those claiming to be their friends.
- Scope- ensuring disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else.
- Stonewall- providing support to all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.
Mate crime happens when someone says they are your friend, but they do things that take advantage of you, including asking you for money a lot. A real friend does not need to be bought, and someone who takes your money or possessions and asks you to pay for lots of things, or makes you feel uncomfortable is not a true friend. If someone who says they are your friend hurts you, steals from you or makes you do something you don’t want to do, you should tell to someone you trust right away (Mencap, 2019).
Mate Crime does not always start with bullying but it can become bullying later on, it usually starts with people saying they are your friend or acting like they are (ARC, 2013). Mate crime is a hidden issue and happens behind closed doors in your home, the person taking advantage of you could be a ‘friend’ someone you know, a family member or someone that helps you (Bristol SAB, 2018).