From 1st April 2016 to 31st December 2016, there were 5641 Hate Crimes or Hate Incidents reported to Greater Manchester Police. This is just the tip of the iceberg with many people not reporting such incidents/crimes.
But what is the difference between a hate crime and a hate incident? You may think that you have been the victim of such an incident, but should you report it? Where can you report such an incident?
Hate crime is any crime that is targeted at a person or their property, because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s:
- Race or ethnicity
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Alternative subculture
- Trans and gender reassignment
A hate incident is an incident that isn’t a crime, but the victim thinks it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on the same criteria as above.
Hate incidents can take many forms but an example is verbal abuse like name-calling or offensive jokes.
Anyone can be the victim of a hate incident/crime and it does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted at. For example, you may be targeted because someone thought you were a homosexual when in fact you are not.
If you believe that you have been the victim of a hate crime/incident then you can report what has happened to you. If you report such incidents/crimes when they happen you may be able to prevent such incidents happening to others.
You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crimes/incidents in the Manchester area.
You can report a hate crime/incident if you are the victim, are a witness or are reporting on behalf of someone else.
The easiest way to report is by completing an online form. Just go here and click the big red button on the top right-hand side of the page.
Alternatively, the Students’ Union Advice Service is a third party reporting centre, who can help you report the incident if you want to, and provide further advice or support.
If you want to report anything to the police then you can call them on 112. You do not have to give your personal details but please be aware the investigation and ability to prosecute someone is severely limited if the police cannot contact you.
You can contact 999 if you feel that the situation is an emergency. If you don’t want to speak to the police or fill in a report, you also have the option of contacting ‘Crime Stoppers’ on 0800 555 111 or via the website.
From 5th to 11th February, it is Hate Crime Awareness Week 2018. The theme this year will be “No Bystander” – this is to try to encourage people to report hate crimes and hate incidents if they see them happening.
Remember if you feel that you have been the victim of a hate crime or incident or you have witnessed someone who has, report it.
If you feel unsure, then pop along to the Advice Service to talk through the incident with a professionally-trained advisor.