Hate crime services

In 2019-20 we offered support to 5,114 people after they had experienced hate crime.

There were 105,090 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2019/20 (excludes Greater Manchester Police), an increase of 8% compared with 2018/19 (97,446 offences).

What is hate crime?

Hate crime is any crime where the offender targets a person or community because of the victim’s personal characteristics (or when an offender assumes that their victim comes from a particular group or community).

Victims of hate crime are usually targeted because of their perceived:

  • belief
  • disability
  • race
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity.

However, any crime or incident motivated by bias or prejudice against a person’s identity, such as targeting of alternative subcultures, can be considered a hate crime.

Who is most affected by hate crime?

Hate crime often affects the most vulnerable people, which makes it harder for them to seek help. Many victims feel that they can’t tell anyone about what is happening to them, and end up suffering in silence. This damages people’s self-esteem and can affect whole communities. Victims may also not tell the police because they aren’t confident in the criminal justice system.

About a quarter of hate crime prosecutions collapse because the victim thinks the justice system won’t support them. People or communities affected by hate crime may already feel excluded from mainstream society, and hate crime can deepen feelings of isolation.

As victims can retreat into their communities, we work in partnership with many community groups and hate crime specialist agencies to build confidence and let isolated people know that they don’t have to suffer alone. We provide a wide range of  support services that we can tailor to specific cases. This includes work with ‘third party reporting centres’, which enable victims to report a crime without having to deal directly with the police. So, as well as supporting the direct victims, we’re working hard to inform, educate and prevent hate crime from damaging communities.

We are the oldest victims’ charity in the world, with more than 40 years’ experience of supporting and working with people affected by crime. We are a trusted partner and work closely with local organisations and communities, local and national agencies, local and national government, and other third-sector organisations to deliver effective, victim-centred services that give people the support they need to move beyond the impact of crime.

As in independent charity, we can reach out to people who wouldn’t normally engage with the police and other justice agencies. Local needs vary so we flex and tailor our services accordingly.

If you’ve been affected by hate crime and would like information or support, request support using our online form or call our free Supportline on 08 08 16 89 111. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can contact us using Relay UK on 18001 08 08 16 89 111.