Hate crime continues to harm communities. In 2019 race-motivated hate crime went up by 11% compared to the previous year (Home Office Data). The Latin American community in London is not immune to it.
It’s time to rise against it
IRMO is committed to raise awareness on hate crime within the Latin American community and facilitate information to report cases and get support, for which we have created the campaign Be Anti-Hate as part of the project Together Against Hate 2020. This project is funded by The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and it is part of the Community Alliance to Combat Hate (CATCH).
You can find here all the information to be able to identify and report hate crime and to find support for its victims.
What is hate crime?
Hate incidents imply an act of violence or hostility directed at someone because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. This means that you could be a victim of this hostility if for example someone thinks you are gay, even if you are not.
When hate incidents:
- involve a criminal offence (i.e theft, burglary, murder, harasment, assault, etc.)
- and affect a ‘protected characteristic’: race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity;
Types of hate crime
- Racist hate crime, when you are targeted because of your race or nationality – for example because you are black or because you are not British or they think you are not British.
- Homophobic Hate Crime, when you are targeted because of your sexual orientation.
- Transphobic Hate Crime, when you are targeted because of your gender identity.
- Disability Hate Crime, when you are targeted because of having a disability or for example, if your child has a disability.
- Faith Hate Crime, when you are targeted because of your faith or religion.
How and where it happens
Hate incidents can take many forms. All of them must be taken into account. Examples of hate incidents are:
- Verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes
- Physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
- Damage to things such as your phone, your pet or your vehicle
Online abuse. You can also suffer or encounter hatred online on social media or dating sites. As well as to the police, it can be reported directly to some platform providers such Facebook or Twitter.
These acts can be committed by anyone, whether a stranger, a neighbour, a family member or a friend, a coworker or manager. Therefore, they can happen everywhere.
Who can be a victim?
Anyone can be a victim of a hate incident or crime.
Being perceived as different and other vulnerability factors like isolation increase the risk of suffering violence and hostility, both online and offline.
If you believe you are the target of hate crime, you can report it to the police. The victim’s perception is as important as the actual event.
You can also report it if you aren’t the target of that violence or hostility but you witness a hate incident or crime, even simply as a passer-by.
What to do if you are a victim or a witness of hate crime?
We all have a right to be who we are and to live without fear. If you are a victim or witness:
- Stay calm and avoid responding with abuse or insults
- Look for support from your network, the police or other organisations
- Keep a record of the details of the incident
How to report
You can report to the police:
- in person to a local police station
- by phone on 101 (or 999 if you are unsafe now!)
- on Public Transport: any antisocial behaviour can be reported to a member of the staff or police officer , on 0800 40 50 40 or texting to 61016
If you don’t speak English, you can ask for an interpreter when you call 999 and 111. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, you can text emergency services from your phone.
The perception of the victim is key in the way the police would record the incident. When reporting, you should say whether you think it is a hate incident (because of disability, race, religion, transgender identity, sexual orientation or a combination of these things). In those cases, it would be recorded as a hate incident or crime.
If you choose to report it anonymously, the crime will not be prosecuted but it will still be recorded and you will help to give visibility to this issue.
Where to find further support
You may feel uncomfortable with reporting hate crime to the police especially if you’re worried about your migration status.
If you are a victim, you can suffer from the trauma caused by the event and you may need further support.
If you are unsure about what to do or what support you need, IRMO can help you make an informed decision about your options and refer you to other relevant services.
Third party reporting. If you are unable or unsure about going directly to the police, you can report an incident of hate crime anonymously through a third party organisation.
Support for victims of hate crime. In some cases, victims, family members and witnesses can get help from the Victim and witness support services, which provides:
- emotional support
- information and advice about the criminal justice system
- peer support
- access to restorative justice