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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.

We work closely with Durham Constabulary and through the Safe Durham Partnership to respond to hate crime and support and protect victims.

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

National Hate Crime Awareness Week

National Hate Crime Awareness Week is a week of action to raise awareness of hate crime, to remember those we have lost and support those who need our ongoing support.

Durham Constabulary virtual events

Durham Constabulary will be holding a number of virtual events on Microsoft Teams throughout the week that will focus on key areas of the criminal justice system when dealing with hate crime.

Each session will start at 10am and 1pm and will last for approximately an hour.

If you would like to join any of the following events, please send your name, email address, which event you would like to attend and the time of the event to

Monday 11 October

Key speaker launch followed by David Dove from Durham Constabulary launching the new Hate Crime Support and Report Centre in Darlington.

Speakers: Durham Constabulary Chief Constable Jo Farrell and Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen

Tuesday 12 October

What happens when you report a hate crime? What are your options? What training do Police officers received and how does an investigation proceed.

Speaker: Inspector Siobhan Jones, Durham Constabulary

Wednesday 13 October

The Criminal Justice System and how your experience then translates into an offence going through the various stages to court.

Speaker: Veronica Jordan, Senior Crown Prosecutor CPS North East

Thursday 14 October

What support is available to victims of hate crime, whether or not they choose to pursue a prosecution?

Speakers: Mark Warcup, Victim Care and Advice Service and Benjamin Scott, Cohesion Officer at Durham Constabulary

Friday 15 October

Summary of the week and identifying any gaps in current provision and system including a Q&A.

Speaker: Andrew Allison, Darlington Borough Council

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.

Contact us
First Contact/Social Care Direct
03000 267 979
0191 383 5752

Gypsy Roma, Traveller Service
03000 262 546