A hate crime, or hate incident, is an act motivated by, or perceived to be motivated by, prejudice against who the victim is, or what they appear to be, in relation to their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. These are known as protected characteristics. It does not matter if the person targeted has the characteristic that the prejudice is directed toward. Only that they are perceived to have that characteristic or belong to that community.
A hate crime does not have to amount to a criminal offence to be considered a hate crime. Non-criminal hate crime incidents can still be reported to the police to be recorded. Evidence of a hate crime is not required – it is enough that one person, such as the victim or a witness, perceives the incident to be a hate crime.
The Police and CPS define hate crime as: "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 or perceived disability; race or perceived race; or religion or perceived religion; or sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or transgender identity or perceived transgender identity."
Hate Crime covers a range of behaviours, including discrimination, exclusion, verbal abuse, physical assault, bullying including cyber-bullying and inciting hatred.
Hate Crime can manifest in the school/college environment. Our response may involve action and support from various agencies, including statutory agencies or educating the perpetrator about their language and impact. Following the incident, we will schedule check-ins with the victim to check on their well-being and ensure the issue has not continued.
All hate crime incidents reported in our setting must be recorded. The DSL will regularly review this data to identify emerging themes and inform preventative and responsive work around hate crime.