Discriminatory Abuse

It is against the law to discriminate (treat less favourably) against anyone because of:

  • Age
  • Being or becoming a transsexual person
  • Being married or in a civil partnership
  • Being pregnant or having a child
  • Disability
  • Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • Religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation.

These are called ‘protected characteristics’.

What is hate crime?

A hate crime is any behaviour that someone thinks was caused by hostility, prejudice or hatred of their:

  • Disability (including physical impairments, mental health problems, learning disabilities, hearing and visual impairments
  • Gender Identity (people who are transgender, transsexual or transvestite)
  • Race, skin colour, nationality, ethnicity or heritage
  • Religion, faith or belief (including people without a religious belief)
  • Sexual orientation (people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual etc.)

It can include:

  • name calling or verbal abuse
  • graffiti or abusive writing
  • damage to property
  • threats or intimidation
  • bullying or harassment
  • physical attacks or violence, including sexual violence, arson and murder.

Anyone can be a victim of hate crime if they are targeted because of who they are, their friends or family or even who the perpetrator thinks they are.

Reporting hate crime

  • Call 101 or in an emergency dial 999.
  • For practical advice and support call 101 and ask to speak to your local hate crime team.
  • Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
  • Visit your local police station.
  • You can call into a third party reporting centre (i.e Registered Social Landlords offices).

There is a guide available for those affected by Hate Crime.

Stop Hate UK is one of the leading national organisations working to challenge all forms of Hate Crime and discrimination, based on any aspect of an individual’s identity. Stop Hate UK provides independent, confidential and accessible reporting and support for victims, witnesses and third parties.

A disability hate crime is a criminal offence motivated by hatred or prejudice towards a person because of their actual or perceived disability.

Read about an incident of hate crime in the Independent: