Hate Crime Awareness Campaign Launched (7 Oct 2016)

West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner have launched their latest hate crime awareness campaign - Hate Hurts. 

The campaign will run for the next year and will focus on raising awareness of hate crime and how to report. It will also help people understand the difference between a hate crime and hate incident and how the Police and partners can help. 

The campaign launch coincides with national Hate Crime Awareness Week which starts on Saturday, 8 October, and looks to give people a better understanding of what hate crime is, explain the different strands of hate crime and how it can be reported.

One of the main areas of confusion for people is about what makes something a hate crime rather than a hate incident. 

A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity or perceived disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Examples include:

  • Physical attacks, such as physical assault, damage to property.
  • Offensive graffiti and arson.
  • Threat of attack, such as inciting hatred by words, pictures or videos.
  • Offensive letters
  • Abusive or obscene telephone calls.
  • Groups hanging around to intimidate.
  • Unfounded malicious complaints. 

A hate incident is any non-criminal incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity or perceived disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.  

Examples include:

  • Verbal or online abuse.
  • Insults or harassment such as taunting.
  • Abusive gestures.
  • Dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes.
  • Bullying at school or in the workplace.

A number of sub-categories for the recording of faith and disability hate crimes and incidents were introduced in 2014 to get a better understanding of the impact of national and international events on local communities and improve and target services for victims. The subcategories for faith are anti-Christian, anti-Hindu, anti-Islam, anti-Semitism and anti-Sikh and the subcategories for disability are learning, physical, sensory and mental. 

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: "Tackling hate crime is a priority for West Yorkshire Police and supporting victims is at the heart of everything we do. Any hate crime can have a devastating impact on the victim but also has the potential to divide communities.  

"We have specially trained officers who can support victims of hate crime and we will continue to do all we can to help people have confidence in reporting hate crime and hate incidents. 

"Everyone has a part to play in reporting hate crimes and hate incidents so that we can investigate them and ensure that support and advice is available to those involved and action take where appropriate."  

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said "We are doing our utmost, in partnership, to eradicate hate in West Yorkshire. There's absolutely no place in our communities for this vile behaviour and it will not be tolerated. 

"The crux of this campaign is to raise awareness of what these crimes and incidents are, the impact they have on our communities and how to report them. 

"If you feel you have been the victim of a hate crime or a hate incident I would urge you to report it through whichever means you feel most comfortable. There are a whole variety of ways to report, from free smart phone apps, online reporting forms, over the phone, or in person at a police station or third party reporting centres. You can find information on the ways to report on West Yorkshire Police's website. Reports will be dealt with sensitively and support will be offered as required by the victim." 

To support the messages from Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams and Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, our partners and residents of West Yorkshire have been recording their own messages reinforcing why it's important to report all hate incidents. The videos can be viewed at https://westyorkshire.police.uk/contact-us/hate-crime-hate-incidents/video-responses.

The Force will also be supporting #OperationReportHate, a national campaign to highlight hate crimes against the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Anyone with any information about a hate crime is asked to report it by calling 999 in an emergency, 101 for a non-emergency, online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime or www.report-it.org.uk or by calling in to a police station. If you'd prefer not to speak to the Police, there are independent Hate Incident Reporting Centres across West Yorkshire. To find these and more details of all the ways to report a hate crime visit the West Yorkshire Police website.

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© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018