What is a hate Crime/incident?

A hate crime is any hate incident which constitutes a criminal offence and the victim or any other person believes it to be motivated by prejudice or hate of someone because of a particular factor. Those factors include:

  • A person’s disability
  • Their race, ethnicity or nationality
  • Their religion or belief
  • Their sexual orientation
  • Their transgender identity
  • Their sex or gender


A hate crime is any hate incident which constitutes a criminal offence


Hate crime can be against the person, or the person’s property.

Hate crime doesn’t just affect the individual person it is aimed at. It can have a major impact on whole communities.


A hate incident is any non-Criminal incident


A hate incident is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice. This may be an incident involving prejudicial behaviour where the criminal threshold isn’t met, such as being excluded from a barber’s shop for being transgender, or being called names

The key word around hate crimes and hate incidents is perception. This is where the victim or another person feels the victim has been targeted because of a protected characteristic based on their:

  • disability,
  • race or ethnicity,
  • religion or belief,
  • sexual orientation
  • gender reassignment or
  • sex or gender

These are known as monitored ‘hate strands’ which the police record and report back to the Home Office.

A victim may feel they have been targeted based on something else to do with their personal identity and this is also recorded by the police as hate ‘other’.

Having an accurate understanding of the number of hate crimes and incidents that occur in communities enables the police to respond in the most appropriate way. It also helps monitor incidents that are happening and will assist in identifying any emerging tensions.

Hate crime targets an individual because of who they are, or what they believe in. Whilst this may often be due to ignorance of the offender, it can also be associated with inherent hostility and prejudice. Support and reassurance are of great importance for a victim of a hate crime and reporting it is a key way to access these services.

Being respectful to others is a major factor in looking at how hate crime and hate incidents can be minimised.

Other examples of hate incidents/crimes:

“ I was going to the shop in my wheelchair when a group of people spat at me and called me names, this hurt my feelings.”

“ I was on Facebook when I saw racist comments on a friend’s page and this offended me.”

“ I was at a nightclub when someone hit me and shouted verbal abuse about the colour of my skin.”

“ I saw an adoption poster covered in graffiti saying horrible things about same sex couples adopting children.”

Hate crime in any form is wrong but if it goes unchallenged, it will continue to happen. That is why it is important that if you experience, see or know about hate crime in your community, you should report it. We all need to say NO to hate.


Hate Crime Operational Guidance


The Hate Crime Manual has been revised to reflect developments in this crucial area of policing. It now documents how hate crime investigations have changed in an effort to better meet the needs of diverse communities. A significant legacy of Stephen Lawrence can be found in developments in policing relating to critical incident management, family liaison, community engagement and independent advice, third-party reporting, and changes in the way hate crime investigations are conducted, each of which are discussed in the various sections of this document.

Download PDF FileHate Crime Operational Guidance


Senior managers from across Cornwall have SAID NO to hate crime


We said NO to Hate!




How can you tell us about it?

There are lots of ways that you can tell us about it. You don’t have to give your personal details if you don’t want to or provide any evidence.

By reporting a hate incident when it happens, you can help us to stop it happening again and we can ask you about any support that you or they may need. We encourage you to tell  person affected the police, but you can also go to one of our reporting centres. We have five reporting centres in Cornwall, where you can talk to trained staff about your experiences and they can give you help and support. They can also help you make a report to the police or any other organisation if you wish to or make a report on your behalf (this is called third party reporting). If you have seen it, experienced it, know about it or need help, tell us about it using any of the contacts provided on this website.

How to report and find support

Can I access support if I don’t report?

Yes, our independent third party reporting centres can provide support and advice, to anyone who has experienced any form of hate crime even if you choose not to report.

Our commitment to you

Our vision is to make Cornwall a welcoming place, where equality, freedom, fairness and opportunity are open to all. We want everyone to feel valued, to celebrate diversity and to understand people’s different needs and aspirations whether they are living, visiting or working here. Hate crime has a devastating effect on victims, their families and friends and impacts on whole communities. But we can all do something about it. Safer Cornwall is a partnership and our commitment to tackle hate crime means that many organisations have pledged to work together to: – Make it easier to report hate incidents – Provide help and support to victims and anyone else affected – Recognise and respond to hate crime better.

We do not want hate crime in Cornwall.










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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: