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Hate crime

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Being you is not a crime: Hate crime is

Tackling hate crime is a priority for West Mercia Police. We know that on a national and local level hate crimes are underreported and are committed to ensuring all victims have the confidence to come forward and report any incidents or crimes to the police.

People who commit hate crimes are targeting people because of who they are and often victims are some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. This can have a devastating impact on the individual and the wider community.

We guarantee that we will carry out a thorough investigation into every reported hate crime, aim to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure safeguarding measures are in place to look after victims and their families.


Asian man
What is a hate crime?

Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by an offender's hostility or prejudice towards someone because of their:

  • race or perceived race (including nationality, national origin, ethnic origin, race and colour)
  • religion or perceived religion
  • sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation
  • disability or perceived disability
  • gender identity or perceived gender identity
  • individual characteristics that makes someone appear different e.g. alternative lifestyle, culture, physical appearance and style of dress

Black man
The difference between a hate crime and a hate incident

A hate incident is an act that falls short of being a criminal act and is therefore not a criminal offence, but is still perceived by the victim to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on any of the same characteristics.

All hate incidents should be reported to the police; they will be logged and receive a police response.

What type of incident can be a hate incident?

  • Verbal abuse such as name calling or offensive jokes
  • Bullying or intimidation
  • Hoax calls, offensive phone or text messages
  • Online abuse for example on social media
  • Throwing rubbish in a garden

Depending on the circumstances of the incident, some of these may be a criminal offence and logged as a hate crime. They should all be reported and will receive a police response.

Black woman
Examples of hate crime

When a hate incident is a criminal offence, it is logged as a hate crime. All types of crime can be a hate crime. Examples include:

  • Assault
  • Criminal damage
  • Harassment
  • Murder
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Burglary
  • Graffiti
  • Arson
  • Hate mail

Disabled man
What response can you expect from police?

All reports of hate crimes and hate incidents will receive a police response.

We may not be able to respond immediately but we will act on all reports.

How do I report a hate crime?

  • In an emergency call 999
  • For non-emergencies call 101
  • Call in at your local police station
  • Report online to True Vision at
  • Talk to a trusted friend, family member, support worker, social worker or teacher
  • Through a third party reporting centre