Reporting Hate Crime and Incidents

Cambridgeshire Constabulary and our partner agencies serve a diverse community. We also recognise that everyone should be allowed to live their lives free from harassment and the fear of crime. We understand the effect this type of incident can have on the victim, their families and the wider community and because we understand, it enables us to deal effectively with it and its causes.

A Hate Incident is defined as:

Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate (against someone's race, disability, sexuality, gender status or religion/faith).

A Hate Crime is defined as:

Any hate incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate (against someone's race, disability, sexuality, gender status or religion/faith).

In either case it is important that the matter is reported. The report can be made by anyone and not just by those affected - anyone can report it.

Hate crime can be motivated by prejudice about:

Race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins (including prejudice against Gypsy's and Travellers)

Religion and faith (including no faith)

Gender or gender identity often referred to as transphobia - resentment or fear of transgender people, transsexuals or transvestites

Sexual orientation including homophobia, the resentment or fear of gay, lesbian and bisexual people

Disability (including sensory, physical or mental impairment or learning difficulties)

Hate crime can take many forms including:

Physical attacks such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson

Threat of attack including offensive letters, abusive or obscene phone calls, unfounded/malicious complaints, groups hanging around to intimidate, dirty looks and intimidating stares.

Verbal abuse or insults and abusive gestures

Other abuse, such as offensive leaflets and posters, the dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, theft or fraud, bullying at home, online, at school or in the workplace.

The Effect of Hate Crime on Victims

Hate crime affects the individual in every area of their life, work, school and home. People who experience such crime may feel guilty, humiliated and too embarrassed to complain. Stress may lead to emotional symptoms such as a loss of self-confidence and self-esteem. The physical symptoms include loss of sleep and headaches. Furthermore serious physical and mental health problems may develop, not only for the victim, but also for the family.

Common reasons for why people don't report

  • I don't want the hassle
  • It will go away if I ignore it
  • This must be normal behaviour
  • I will get used to it
  • There might be repercussions
  • Nothing is going to be done anyway
  • I don't want to get anyone into trouble
  • It might affect my career
  • I might be called a troublemaker
  • This is probably just a few isolated incidents
  • I can handle it myself

It's your decision to report a hate crime to the police. But if nobody knows about the crime, nothing will be done to stop it happening again. The good news is that you can report a hate crime without having to speak to the police directly.

'Third party reporting' means that you can report a crime to a third party and they will let the police know for you. This can be done anonymously if you don't want the police to know your name. See TRUE VISION in the reporting section below.

Why you should report


There is usually a very small chance of you being a repeat victim of a crime. However, victims of hate crime are more likely to suffer repeated, constant and daily abuse from the same perpetrator/s.


Crime can have a devastating psychological effect on you and your family or friends. Hate crime often consists of a series of crimes, the cumulative effect of such incidents and crimes can destroy lives through emotional damage and long term trauma.

For victims of hate crime the risk of attack may be constant. Feelings of insecurity can result in anxiety and a continuous state of watchfulness, and inability to sleep.

If victims of hate crime do not report it, government agencies and policy makers will not know the extent of the problem in order to take important steps, through legislation for example, to eliminate it. This focus on reporting is driven by the need to identify a better picture of the scale, severity and causes of the problem. With that picture, the relevant authorities can ensure that the right resources are available to tackle offenders, and give victims the protection and support they need.


Hate crime is committed by people who do not care to what extent they hurt their victims. If they go unchallenged, they will continue to put others in danger. Report it so they can be caught before others suffer.


How do I report Hate crime and incidents?


The easiest and quickest way is to call Cambridgeshire Constabulary directly on 101

Alternatively you can use our online hate crime reporting form which can be found here.

For deaf or hard of hearing call the MINICOM helpline on 01480 422493

RNID TypeTalk is a national telephone relay service which enables, deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing and speech impaired people to communicate, to access the service dial: 0800 515152

You can also report hate crime in person at your local police station.

Via a LAGLO - Lesbian And Gay Liaison Officer. Click here for a link to their page.

Via a police officer you meet.

Third party reporting enables people who are victims of hate crime to report incidents to partner agencies instead of directly to the police. In March 2015 a pilot scheme was set up in Fenland with more than 20 reporting centres. For more information on the centres click here.

True Vision

True Vision is an organisation that provides an online third party reporting tool for people who would prefer not to go directly to the police. They also have a wealth of information about hate crime including internet hate, prosecutions, safety tips and organisations that can help and much more.


Crimestoppers, an independent charity where you can give information anonymously about crime, - 0800 555 111

Cambridgeshire Constabulary does not tolerate hate crime, and we urge you to report all incidents. The more information we can gather, the more we know about these crimes and who commits them, the better we can work together to stamp out hate crimes.

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