Stop Hate Crime – 24 hour Helpline 0800 138 1625
Dealing with hate crime
Everyone needs security, confidence and respect to live their life to the full. To help ensure that everyone is safe, Devon County Council works closely with the police and other agencies to raise awareness of hate crime; to encourage reporting; to take action against offendersand to support victims.
We recognise that prejudice related crimes and incidents cause a great deal of suffering for victims, and for their friends and families, as well as undermining cohesion in the community. We recognise that hate crime is as much of a problem in Devon as it is in other parts of the UK.
As a public authority we are also bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty (Part 11 of the Equality Act 2010) and more specifically the duty to give due regard to the need to foster good community relations (tackle prejudice and promote understanding).
We are committed, through the Safer Devon Partnership, to tackling the problem of prejudice and hate crime across the whole county.
What is hate crime?
A hate crime is any criminal offence where the victim or anyone else (e.g. a witness) believes that the victim has been targeted because of their:
- race, nationality or ethnic identity
- religion/ belief
- gender or gender identity
- sexual orientation
It is worth noting that this list is not exclusive: some people may be victims of hate crime because of other identifying features. Sophie Lancaster, for example, was picked on, attacked and murdered in 2007 because of the way she was dressed.
Hate crime can include:
- verbal abuse
- physical assault
- threatening behaviour
- offensive graffiti
- malicious communications by phone, text, email or social media
- damage to property and violence
Hate incidents are incidents motivated by prejudice which have caused alarm or distress to the victim but which do not constitute a criminal offence.
Cyber Hate Crime
Cyberbullying is on the increase and it is important that you know what to do if you, or someone you know, becomes a victim of abuse via phone, text, email or social networking.
Cyberbullies often feel anonymous and safely distanced from an incident when it takes place online
- If you, or someone you know, has been a victim, please report it
- Keep any messages or material received
- Avoid retaliating; or even responding
For information and advice on online safety, visit their website .
Although there is a lot of material on the internet that some people find offensive, the majority of it is not breaking any laws. We have to find a way to achieve a balance between maintaining our freedom of expression and protecting people from hate crime
However, In England and Wales it can be an offence to stir up hatred on the grounds of:
- Religion and belief
- Sexual Orientation
Further guidance on what you can do about online hate material.
Please report all hate crimes and hate incidents
If you, or anyone you know, has been a victim of a hate crime then please report it.
We all have a right to live our lives in peace and with dignity at home, at work or in the street. Too many hate crimes go unreported, leaving the offenders free to commit similar crimes again, whether against you or other members of our community. We understand that you might feel nervous about reporting it, but your information is vital to help us eliminate hate crimes.
Even if you don’t want it to go to court – please report it.
Even if you don’t want to give your name – please report it. You can remain anonymous if you want and give as much or as little information as you wish. What you tell us will help to provide a true picture of what is happening within our community.
How to report hate crime
Reporting to the Police
The police are there to help and can respond immediately.
If you need immediate support, contact the police.
- Report in person at any police station.
- If it’s an emergency or if you believe that you or anyone else is in danger, phone 999.
- Call 0800 138 1625 – 24 hour helpline from Stop Hate UK (coverage includes Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly policing area).
- Or, call the police on 101, the force’s non-emergency number.
Other ways of reporting
- Contact Victim Support on their national helpline 0845 30 30 900.
- Contact Victim Care Unit by visiting their Website.
- To report racist incidents you can contact Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council (PDREC: Tel: 01752 224555) or visit their Website.
- To report phobic incidents you can contact The Intercom trust -Phone:
0845 60 20 818 or visit their Website.