Discrimination and hate crime
Hate crimes and hate incidents
In most crimes it is something the victim has in their possession or control that motivates the offender to commit the crime. With hate crime it is 'who' the victim is, or 'what' the victim appears to be that motivates the offender to commit the crime.
A hate crime is defined 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 race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.'
A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone's prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
Evidence of the hate element is not a requirement. You do not need to personally perceive the incident to be hate related. It would be enough if another person, a witness or even a police officer thought that the incident was hate related.
Types of hate crime
Hate crime can fall into one of three main types: physical assault, verbal abuse and incitement to hatred.
Physical assault of any kind is an offence. If you've been a victim of physical assault you should report it. Depending on the level of the violence used, a perpetrator may be charged with common assault, actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.
Verbal abuse, threats or name-calling can be a common and extremely unpleasant experience for minority groups.
Victims of verbal abuse are often unclear whether an offence has been committed or believe there is little they can do. However, there are laws in place to protect you from verbal abuse.
If you've been the victim of verbal abuse, talk to the police or one of our partner organisations about what has happened.
Even if you don't know who verbally abused you, the information could still help us to improve how we police the area where the abuse took place.
Incitement to hatred
The offence of incitement to hatred occurs when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. That could be in words, pictures, videos, music, and includes information posted on websites.
Hate content may include:
- messages calling for violence against a specific person or group
- web pages that show pictures, videos or descriptions of violence against anyone due to their perceived differences
- chat forums where people ask other people to commit hate crimes against a specific person or group
How to report hate crime
By reporting hate crime, you may be able to prevent it from happening again.
Is it an emergency?
Does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon? Is someone in immediate danger? Do you need support right away? If so, please call 999 now.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you've pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.
Report it online
True Vision is a national police scheme to help victims report hate crime online.
Report by phone
Our national, non-emergency telephone number is staffed 24/7 to give you support and advice.
Visit a police station
If you'd prefer to speak to an officer in person, we can provide a safe and comfortable environment at any of our police stations.
Hate crime reporting centres
Also known as third-party reporting centres, these are places you can go for advice from trained people if you don't want to go to the police.
71 New George Street, Plymouth, PL1 1RJ
75-77 Cornwall Street, Plymouth, PL1 1NS
British Red Cross
Brook Housing Ltd
Lyster Court, Millfields, Stonehouse, Plymouth, PL1 3JB
Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support
7 Whimple Street, Plymouth, PL1 2DH
Havencare (South West) Ltd
Lyster Court, Millfields, Stonehouse, Plymouth, PL1 3JB
74 Mutley Plain, Mutley, Plymouth, PL4 6LF
Open Doors International Language School
28 Woodland Terrace Lane, Plymouth ,PL4 8QL
Open Hearts Open Borders (OHOB)
Phone: 07912 294122
Phone: 01752 312546
Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council
Harwell Centre, 28-42 Harwell Court, Western Approach, Plymouth, PL1 1PY
Plymouth Central Library
Taylor Maxwell House, 167-171 Armada Way, Plymouth, PL1 1HZ
4A Cattedown Road, Plymouth, PL4 0AY
Plymouth People First
207 Outland Road, Plymouth, PL2 3PF
Pride in Plymouth (CIC)
170 Rendle Street, Plymouth, PL1 1T
Ridleys Plymouth Guild
Guild house, 156 Mannamead Road, Plymouth, PL3 5QL
Students and Refugees Together (START)
237 Union St, Plymouth, PL1 3HQ
Suzanne Sparrow Plymouth Language School
72-74 North Road, East Plymouth, Devon, PL4 6AL
The Eddystone Trust
2nd Floor, 11 Whimple Street, Plymouth, PL1 2DH
Plymouth Community Homes
Plumer House, Tailyour Road,Crownhill,PL6 5DH
Who else can help me?
We understand that you may not be ready to talk to us about what has happened. The charities, groups and organisations below can offer support, advice and ways to report the incident without having to talk directly to the police.
A national charity with a free helpline for reporting crime anonymously.
- Tell MAMA
A national project supporting victims of anti-Muslim hate and monitoring anti-Muslim incidents.
- Community Security Trust (CST)
A charity protecting British Jews from antisemitism and related threats.
A national charity providing advice and support to members of the LGBT community.
- True Vision
A scheme owned by the National Police Chiefs' Council providing hate crime advice and online reporting.
Is the information correct?
Let us know if the information on this page is wrong and needs to be updated.