A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person based on their:
A hate crime is a criminal offence which means it is against the law and can include:
Hate crime in any form is wrong and can cause a lot of pain for victims, their loved ones and to entire communities. That is why it is important that if any hate crime happens to you or someone you know, you should report it.
When challenged about something they have said, you might hear someone say they have a right to free speech and to share their opinion without being punished. Although they may be correct in that they have this freedom to have their own opinion and express this, they also must be responsible with this. If this freedom is not used responsibly, it can be restricted such as when it turns into hate speech and someone is subjected to hostility based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Hate crime can cause harm and have long-lasting effects on victims. This includes:
If a hate crime takes place and is not reported, your school or the police won’t know about what has happened and won’t be able to take action to stop it and protect the victim. By reporting, you can help stop the person who committed the hate crime from doing this again.
Your report will be taken seriously and can help stop the perpetrator from doing this again and provide the police with information that will help them to protect everyone in Sandwell from hate crime. When a criminal offence is classed as a hate crime, courts in England and Wales have the power to give tougher sentences to the perpetrator. Also, by reporting, victims can get access to specialised support and advice that will help them to feel safe once more.
If you have witnessed a hate crime, it can also be helpful to a victim to speak to them in a friendly manner and make them feel reassured if it is safe to do so. This can show the victim they are not alone and might make them feel safer.
Witnessing a hate crime can be distressing and it may be helpful for you to speak about what you have come across and talk through your feelings. This can be with someone you trust such as a family member, friend, teacher, neighbour or doctor.
It is important to report hate crime that you come across whether that be in school, outside of school or online. There are many ways you can do this and can remain anonymous if you do not wish to share your name when reporting.
If the incident took place at school, in the first instance you should speak to a teacher at your school and make them aware of what has happened.
You can report to the police and should always do this in emergencies by calling 999. In a non-emergency, you can report a hate crime to the police by calling 101 or report online through the West Midlands Police website.
There is a dedicated hate crime reporting website called True Vision where you can submit a hate crime report to the police who will pick this up and investigate.
There is also an option where you can report hate crime to local places within the community who are known as Hate Crime Third Party Reporting Centre such as Sandwell Young People’s Services if you do not want to directly contact the police. The Hate Crime Third Party Reporting Centre can take your report and then forward this to the police for you.
If you feel you or your family are in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
Third Party Reporting Centres are places within the community where you can report a hate crime confidentially whether you are a victim or witness, if you do not want to report directly to the police. They are trained on dealing with reports of hate crime and can help you get the support that you may need after experiencing or witnessing a hate crime. Below is a list of Third Party Reporting Centres in Sandwell.
If you have been affected by a hate crime or know someone who has, the below organisations can help you in Sandwell:
Remedi’s Hate Crime Victim Service provides emotional and practical support in addition to other support to anyone has been the victim of a hate crime in Sandwell. For more information, take a look at Remedi’s website or contact a member of the team:
Sandwell Healthy Minds
Hate crime can negatively impact on the mental health of victims and those who have witnessed this. Sandwell Healthy Minds offer psychological therapy services for people experiencing mental health problems such as low mood, depression, anxiety and stress. If you are 16 or over and registered with a GP in Sandwell, find out how Sandwell Healthy Minds can help you:
Sandwell Young People’s Services
Sandwell Young People’s Services are a Hate Crime Third Party Reporting Centre in Sandwell just for young people which means that they can report a hate crime that you may have experienced to the police for you if you do not want to directly contact the police yourself. They can also help you access any support you may need following a hate crime. To find out how you can contact a member of the team click here.