Hate Incidents

Hate incident and hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. Read this page to find out more about hate incidents and hate crimes, how to report them and support available.

+ What is a Hate Incident or Crime?

Click here for some examples of what defines a hate crime.

A hate incident is any abuse or hostility targeted at a person or group because of their:

  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Transgender identity

Hate incidents can be acts against a person or property.

A survivor does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted (examples given above). In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate incident.

If the abuse or hostility breaks the law, it becomes a hate crime.

Acts that constitute a Hate Crime include:

  • Assaults
  • Criminal Damage
  • Harassment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Hate mail (Malicious Communications Act 1988)
  • Causing harassment, alarm or distress (Public Order Act 1988)
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Burglary

+ How do I report a Hate Incident or Crime?

Click here for information about reporting hate crimes.

If you’ve experienced a hate incident or crime, you can report it to the police, anonymously if you wish.

You can also report a hate incident or crime even if it wasn’t directed at you. For example, you could be a friend, neighbour, family member or simply a passer-by.

When reporting the incident or crime, you should say whether you think it was because of:

  • Disability
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Transgender identity

Or a combination of these things. This is important because it makes sure that the police record it as a hate incident or crime.

You can report a Hate Incident or Crime to the police here.

If you would like any help or guidance filling in forms, a Just Ask Adviser can help you. You can email Just Ask at bristolsu-justask@bristol.ac.uk, call us on 0117 331 8634 or fill in our Enquiry Form, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Please note that all correspondence and student details we have are kept confidential.

+ Why should I report it?

Click here to find out why it's important to report hate crime.

By reporting incidents or crimes when they happen to you, you may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else. You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it.

This is also true of the SU and the University. By reporting the Incident or Crime via Just Ask, you allow the SU and University to respond to the issue.

+ What other support is available?

Click here for details about support available to you in the event of a hate crime.

If the situation you are in is an emergency, please dial 999.

Avon & Somerset Police
Provides further information and online reporting.

True Vision
Provides further information and online reporting.

Citizens Advice Bristol
General Information.

Bristol Hate Crime Services
A group of four expert agencies working in collaboration to provide a comprehensive service for victims of hate crime.

University Counselling Service
If you’d like to talk to someone about your experience.

Bristol Council
General Information and link to reporting.

SARI: Stand Against Racism and Inequality
Information, link to reporting tool and emotional and practical support.