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Durham County Council

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Hate crimes and incidents


This page gives information on hate crimes and identifies where you can go for help, support and how you can report it.

Who do I contact to report a hate crime?

If you are in imminent danger, dial 999 and seek immediate support.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a hate crime or a hate incident you should contact one of the following organisations: 

  • your local police on 101
  • Crimestoppers on 0800 111 555
  • online via True Vision website

What is hate crime?

A hate crime is a criminal act which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a person's:

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

What is the difference between a hate crime or hate incident?

A hate crime is a criminal offence where anyone believes the victim has been targeted due to any one of the factors identified above.  

Hate incidents are incidents that do not constitute a criminal offence but cause alarm, distress or harassment where anyone believes the victim has been targeted due to any one of the factors above. Some hate incidents may become crimes if the numbers of incidents escalate.

Examples of hate crime or hate incidents

Hate crimes and incidents can be committed against a person or property and can include:

  • offensive or dangerous substances being posted through the letterbox
  • harassment
  • bullying
  • threats
  • malicious communications such as offensive mail, text messages or emails
  • verbal abuse
  • physical violence and assault
  • graffiti
  • damage to your house or car
  • arson

Hate crimes and incidents can also be directed at whole communities through:

  • desecration of graveyards
  • vandalism of places of worship
  • offensive graffiti in public places
  • acts of terrorism

Further help and support

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a hate crime or incident further help and support is available from:

Hate crime information is also available by downloading our hate crime leaflet.