Understanding hate crime

Hate crime is any criminal offence motivated by prejudice. It can manifest as physical assault, offensive graffiti, verbal abuse, offensive literature, criminal damage or abusive gestures.

Hate crimes may be driven by prejudice against:

  • race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins
  • religion
  • gender or gender identity
  • sexual orientation
  • disability

While Oxford is one of the safest areas in the UK with few hate crimes, these incidents can significantly impact victims and the community.

Reporting hate crimes is crucial for victim protection and community safety.

How to report a hate crime

If you are a victim or witness of a hate crime, contact the police immediately on 999 in an emergency, or 101 in non-emergency situations.

Victims can also contact Victims First. The Police and Crime Commissioner’s initiative gives advice on what to do and how to get help if you’ve been a victim of crime, including information on what you should expect from the police and other criminal justice agencies if you report the crime.

The focal point of the Victims First website is a directory which allows victims to find relevant support to help them cope and recover from the impact of the crime. You can use the website to refer yourself directly to the PCC's own support services, using the online form, or find information and contact details for other organisations. This support is available regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.

Alternatively, report hate crime anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via the Crimestoppers website. Calls are confidential and free.

Dealing with online hate crime

Online content inciting hatred, such as images, videos, or music, can be reported to the police via a Report hate crime online form. These crimes can also be reported by calling 999 or 101.

If online hate content isn't illegal but still concerning, you can take steps to have it removed:

  • contact the website administrator - most websites offer a 'report this page' option for content complaints
  • if the content isn't removed, report it to the web hosting company, which can be determined using the free Who is hosting this website service

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