What is Hate Crime?
A Hate Crime is any criminal offence that is, or perceived to be, motivated by hostility towards someone’s identity. It can be based on a wide range of individual characteristics, including the 5 protected characteristics;
- Sexual Orientation
- Transgender Identity
Anything like physical assault, criminal damage or theft, that is targeted at someone because of their identity, is classed as a Hate Crime. A number of these offences have seen perpetrators receive prison sentences and Hate Crime can regularly appear on Social Networking sites, in the form of cyberbullying or offensive messaging. All offences can have a severe impact on an individual, their family and their community.
Even if you don’t have one of the 5 protected characteristics you can still become a victim of Hate Crime;
- If you are targeted because you are percieved to have one of the protected characteistics, for example thought to be of a particular Sexual Orientation or follow a certain Religion.
- When targeted because of an association to an individual with one (or more) of the protected characteristics, for example if the individual is a friend of someone who has a Transgender Identity, or because they have a family member who is a Disabled Person.