Hertfordshire is generally a safe and tolerant county. However like other areas, hate crimes can occur and many of them go unreported to the police. A website providing information about how and where to report hate crime has been launched in Hertfordshire. www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/hertsagainsthate
The website has been written in easy-to-read language to ensure it’s widely accessible, including for people with lower literacy levels.
The pages have been designed to be easily translatable to reach people whose second language may be English, and who may be at higher risk from hate crime.
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is any crime that is targeted against a person because of their:
- disability or learning difficulties
- race or the colour of their skin
- gender identity, such as being transsexual
- sexual orientation, such as being gay, bisexual or other
Not every crime committed against a person in one of these groups is a hate crime. It is only a hate crime if the offender targeted that person because of this reason. If a crime happened, but not because of a person’s race/gender/religion etc. then it’s not a hate crime.
Hate crimes can take almost any form. Assaults, harassment or damage to property can all be hate crimes, if the victim was targeted for one of the reasons above. They can take place anywhere – in the street, on a bus, at work, at school or online.
How to report a hate crime?
You can report to the police directly, or you can speak to a third party. You can even report anonymously.
If you want to report to the police or contact your local Hate Crime Officer, call 101 or go online at www.herts.police.uk/report. In an emergency always call 999.
Support for victims of hate crime:
The police in Hertfordshire have dedicated Hate Crime Officers, who deal with hate incidents and offer support to victims of hate crime.
You can request the support of a Hate Crime Officer or LGBT+ Liaison Officer when you report to the police.
They can meet victims in a place where they feel comfortable and safe, explain options and assist them throughout an investigation, or if the case goes to court.
The police also have specially trained LGBT+ Liaison Officers who provide support to people from the LGBT+ community. They work to encourage the reporting of hate crimes and give advice and support to victims and witnesses.
Getting support even if you haven’t reported it:
Hertfordshire Beacon offers victim care services to all victims of crime in the county, whether or not the victim has reported the matter to police.
Their services are free, and vulnerable or repeat victims receive an enhanced care package. If you have been a victim of crime, you can speak with a member of their victim service team on 03000 11 55 55
To contact the team via email please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Why report hate crime?
Some people might think that reporting a hate crime is not important. They might be embarrassed to talk about it, scared of the consequences from the offender, or believe they won’t be taken seriously.
Hate crimes can leave people feeling unsafe or scared to go out, and cause fear and mistrust amongst different parts of the community.
However, authorities in Hertfordshire (and the UK) take hate crime very seriously. You will always be listened to and treated sensitively if you choose to report to the police.