Jo Coles - York and North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

Jo Coles - North Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing, Fire and Crime

Stop Hate Crime – What is Hate Crime?


This report contains offensive language. These are examples of hate crime that were expressed over the course of this research. This language has not been censored as it is important to understand the nature of this type of crime as it occurs.

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Hate crime is defined in policy by NYP (2013) as:

‘Any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by an offender’s hatred of someone because of their:

  • Race, colour, nationality or national origins
  • Religion
  • Gender or gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability’

The person targeted does not have to hold any of these characteristics: the offender just has to perceive or believe that they do. For example, homophobic slurs might be directed at a group of men leaving a gay bar, who are not gay themselves – but this is still a hate crime.

The five monitored strands of hate crime are: race; religion/faith; sexual orientation; disability and gender identity.[1]

  • There are around 278,000 incidents of hate crime per year: 3% of total crimes
  • Of these, 185,000 are religiously or racially motivated
  • The Crime Survey 2011/12 and 2012/13 estimates show that only 40% of hate crime offences came to the attention of the police: 42,236 hate crimes were recorded
  • In 2012, 6458 individuals were convicted of racially or religiously motivated offences[2]

Hate crime can take many forms: from violent attacks and assaults to ‘everyday’ name calling and harassment.[3] Victims of hate crime suffer because of the perceived differences between them and others: intolerant attitudes can result in hostility, intimidation and violence.

National and international events can affect hate crime volumes at a local level: the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris, growing interest in right-wing politics, events in the Middle East with ISIS – to name a few – are events that impact on communities at home.

[1] Home Office, ‘An Overview of Hate Crime in England and Wales,’ 2013

[2] Home Office, ‘An Overview of Hate Crime in England and Wales,’ 2013

[3] University of Leicester, ‘The Leicester Hate Crime Project,’ 2014