Hate crime and harassment

Hate crime is when a person, or group of people, bullies or hurts someone because they don't like who they are. This can include a crime or harassment, which is perceived to be motivated by malice, or ill will, towards a social group, by the victim or any other person.

The attacker could be any age or anyone - a stranger, a parent, a carer, a friend or a neighbour.

Reporting hate crime and harassment

First of all consider the safety of you and the victim. If either of you are in danger, call the police immediately on 999.

For less urgent cases you can visit any police station or call 101 or Crimestoppers on
0800 555 111. Crimes should always be reported to the police.

You can also report an incident to us, whether you are the victim or a witness. Reports can be anonymous.

Hate crime factors can include:

  • Age - any incident which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated on the grounds of their age.
  • Disability - when someone is being abused or harassed because they are disabled; this includes learning disabilities.
  • Gender - defined as being a crime which has been motivated only by the victim's gender, or perceived gender.
  • Racial and Religious - Southampton City Council has formally adopted the definition agreed in the report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence: "A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person." The term 'race' includes race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin and language. The term 'religion' includes creed, faith and any similar belief system.
  • Homophobic and Transphobic - Southampton City Council has adopted the following definition:"Homophobia and transphobia is fear or hatred for anyone who is, or appears to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. A homophobic or transphobic incident is any incident that is perceived to be homophobic or transphobic by the victim or any other person."