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Hate Crime

Page last updated: 22/02/2023

This section includes: 

  1. Hate Crime definition

  2. Hate Crime training, guidance and resources

  3. Responding to Hate Crime incidents


Hate Crime Definition

A hate crime, or hate incident, is an act motivated by, or perceived to be motivated by, prejudice against who the victim is, or what they appear to be, in relation to their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. These are known as protected characteristics. It does not matter if the person targeted has the characteristic that the prejudice is directed toward. Only that they are perceived to have that characteristic or belong to that community. 

A hate crime does not have to amount to a criminal offence to be considered a hate crime. Non-criminal hate crime incidents can still be reported to the police to be recorded. Evidence of a hate crime is not required – it is enough that one person, such as the victim or a witness, perceives the incident to be a hate crime. 

The Police and CPS define hate crime 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 disability or perceived disability; race or perceived race; or religion or perceived religion; or sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or transgender identity or perceived transgender identity." 

Hate Crime covers a range of behaviours, including discrimination, exclusion, verbal abuse, physical assault, bullying including cyber-bullying and inciting hatred. 

Protected characteristics

  • Race – a person's ethnicity, nationality, country of origin, skin colour, etc

  • Religion – a person's religion or faith, even if they have no religion

  • Sexual orientation – a person's sexuality, whether they are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc

  • Gender identity – an individual who is transgender or perceived to be transgender

  • Disability – any person with physical impairment, life-limiting illness, sensory disability, mental ill-health, learning disability, visual difference, or diagnosis on the autistic spectrum 

Hate Crime training, guidance and resources 

Responding to Hate Crime incidents

Hate Crime can manifest in the school environment. Responses may involve action and support from various agencies including statutory agencies or educating the perpetrator about their language and impact. Following the incident, the school/setting should schedule check-ins with the victim to check on their wellbeing and ensure the issue has not continued. 

Reporting hate crime

​Recording Hate Crime incidents

All hate crime incidents reported to an education setting must be recorded. Settings should have processes in place to regularly review this data to identify emerging themes and inform preventative and responsive work around hate crime.