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What is a hate crime and hate incident?
A hate crime is any crime that is thought to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a person’s race or ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The term hate crime covers both criminal acts and “hate incidents” which refers to non-crimes that are motivated by hostility such as harassment, bullying, offensive gestures, and abusive posters.
Why should I report a hate crime?
When a report is made, specialised support can be given. Being the victim of a hate crime can be extremely isolating, getting help from organisations who understand the impact hate crimes can help you feel safe and confident again. For cases that go to court, tougher sentences can be given to reflect that the crime was motivated by prejudice. Even if the case doesn’t go to court there are still things that can be done to bring the offender to justice and to reduce reoffending. By reporting the hate crime you may be preventing it happening to someone else, by reporting the incident, no matter how small, it signals that such actions will not be tolerated. Incidents and crimes may escalate, so. It’s worth reporting even if you don’t think it’s that significant. Reporting hate crimes to the police will give them a better understanding of what is happening, this information can then be used to implement prevention policies.
How can I report a hate crime?
If you have been the victim of a hate crime, witnessed the incident, or have been told about the incident, you can report it here. The report can be made anonymously or with personal details, the incident details are then sent to security services who decide whether or not the police should be contacted. If you have reported with personal details Central Welfare and Guidance will contact you within three working days with support information. They will offer support including information on external agencies that can help with specific issues, referrals to SAMHS, possible resolution procedures, and how it relates to the University’s disciplinary procedure. If you report it anonymously the relevant department will investigate the report and communications may be issued on the topic.
Will the police be contacted?
The campus police officer will be made aware of the incident, but unless you want it reporting to the police, it will not be recorded on the police systems. The officers are told so they can offer advice to the security team responding to the hate crime, they do not pass that information on unless the victim wants the police to be involved. You can decided whether you would like it reported to South Yorkshire Police, whatever you choose the University will still record the incident and offer you support.
What is the police procedure?
After a hate crime or incident is reported to the police, a report will be made. The reporter will be given an incident number and crimes will also have an investigation number. This is so you can request updates on the investigation and should it happen again, the reports can be easily linked. An officer will contact the reporter and victim while investigating the incident, unless they want to remain anonymous. The Hate Crime Partnership Co-ordinator will call the victim to check on their wellbeing and answer any questions they may have.
What support is available?
If you choose to report the incident with your personal details, Central Welfare and Guidance will contact you and sign post you to support services within the University. They can also provide information on possible outcomes there are. Victim Support is an independent charity set that supports victims of crime, and friends or family who have been affected by crime, they have a free and confidential support line on 08 08 16 89 111.
If you have been the victim of a hate crime, or know someone who has, you can report it to the University here or to South Yorkshire Police .You can also sign up to SYP alerts to receive live notifications about crime and personal safety advice here.