What is a hate crime?

Hate incidents and crimes

A hate incident is something which the victim (or someone else) believes is motivated by hate, hostility, or prejudice. This can be because of a person's characteristics or a characteristic they are believed to have. If a hate incident breaks the law then it is a hate crime. 

You can report a hate incident or hate crime if you are a victim or a witness. You can choose to remain anonymous.

If something has happened and you think it might be a hate crime, you can contact a support service for more information.

What is being done about hate crime?

There are five types of hate crime which are monitored nationally. These are crimes which are believed to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's real or perceived

  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or beliefs
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • transgender identity

The Police also monitor hate crimes based on other characteristics like age, gender and appearance.

The number of reported hate crime offences has more than doubled since 2012/13, with 94,098 offences recorded in 2017/18. We think this increase is mostly because more people are making reports and the Police have improved the way hate crimes are recorded. However, there have been spikes in reported hate crimes after certain events such as the EU Referendum and terrorist attacks in 2017.

London

The London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and the Metropolitan Police Service have a statutory duty to make sure that all hate crimes are dealt with properly. The Police and Crime Plan for London (2017 - 2021) lists “standing together against hatred, intolerance and extremism” as a top priority.

Kingston

Data from MOPAC shows that around 11% of residents in Kingston think that hate crime is a problem in their area. 

In the Borough, Kingston Race and Equalities Council (KREC) works with other agencies to tackle discrimination and hate crime and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations.

Kingston’s Corporate Plan sets a priority to ensure residents and communities feel safe, with a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime. The Kingston Hate Crime Action Group, coordinated by KREC in partnership with the Council and the Police, was formed in 2018 and formally launched at the Hate Crime Conference in June 2019. It is designed to bring organisations together to tackle hate crimes and incidents in the Borough and ensure victims receive a high quality service.

In the past year, services and communities have come together to celebrate diversity at events including Kingston Carnival and the Hate Crime Conference and to mark Black History Month, Pride, Disability History Month, and International Women's Day. We also held a "We Stand Together" event in partnership with Kingston Inter Faith Forum which looked at the recent rise in Hate Crime.