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Hate Incidents and Hate Crime

Cauldwell Campus students

What is a Hate Incident and a Hate Crime?

Currently there are five characteristics that are given special protection, and are the characteristics that hate crimes can be committed based upon. 

The police and Crown Prosecution Service define hate crimes and hate incidents as being motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following: 

  • Disability  
  • Race 
  • Religion  
  • Transgender identity  
  • Sexual orientation 
What is a Hate Incident?

There is a difference between a hate crime and a hate incident. 

A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.

Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported. 

Hate crimes are criminal offences, whilst Hate incidents refer to incidences that are motivated by specific characteristics, but do not constitute criminal offences (ie no law is broken). For example: 

  • Verbal abuse eg name-calling and offensive jokes.  
  • Harassment.  
  • Bullying or intimidation.  
  • Threats of violence.  
  • Abusive phone or text messages.  
  • Online abuse on social media. 
  • Displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters.  
  • Harm or damage to things such as your home, pet, or vehicle.  
  • Throwing rubbish into a garden  
  • Malicious complaints, for example over parking, smells or noise 

Important to note: Something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on one of these characteristics.

 This means that if the victim believes something is a hate incident, it should be recorded as such by the person it is being reported to.
 

What is a Hate Crime?  

Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.

A criminal offence is something that breaks the law.  Some examples of criminal offences include:  

  • Assaults 
  • Criminal damage 
  • Harassment  
  • Murder 
  • Sexual Assault  
  • Theft 
  • Fraud  
  • Burglary  
  • Hate mail. 
  • Harassment  

 

 

I have been affected by a Hate Incident and/or a Hate Crime

If you have been a victim of a Hate Incident and/or a Hate Crime, it may be hard to know what to do or how to feel. That’s okay. 

What happened was not your fault, you’re not alone, and what you do next is your choice

Are you in Immediate Danger? 

Report and Support is not an emergency reporting tool. 

If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured: 

  • On Campus, during office hours, call the Safeguarding Team: For Bedford sites 01234 291888, for Tresham sites01536 413004  
  • If you are Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, please send a text message, starting the message with the word safe to 07860 097683, this is available during office hours.
  • Off Campus, Emergency Services: 999 
Find a Safe Space  
  • Safe Place Scheme:The Safe Place Scheme establishes a safe location on campus, providing support following a violent, hateful or harassing incident. The scheme is intended to facilitate:  
  • Access to emergency support/security  
  • Signposting to reporting & support services  
  • A safe place to wait – these can be found in Student Services, the wellbeing zones and LRC’s 
  • A Safe Space: If you cannot access one of these safe places, then try to find a space which makes you feel most comfortable and safe from harm.  
  • What is a Hate Incident and/or a Hate Crime? You may find it useful to think about what is meant by a Hate Incident and/or a Hate Crime, and examples of these behaviours.  
I would like to speak to someone about my options

If you are not in immediate danger, currently feel safe from harm and do not need to report an emergency – then speaking to someone about your options is a great place to start. 
 

  • Report and Support:If you submit a report with details, we will respond within 2 College Working Days. Your report will not trigger a formal complaints process, and an advisor will confidentially speak to you about both your reporting and support options. You will never be forced to submit a report to the police, or a Formal Complaint to the College- as this is your choice. All help and advice from unions is independent of The Bedford College Group 
  • Victim Support:is the independent charity for people affected by crime and traumatic events in England and Wales. Their support is free and confidential.
I would like to formally report what happened 

It is entirely within your right to formally report Hate Incidents and/or Hate Crimes. You can formally report something to the College and/or the police if it constitutes a criminal offence.  

  • Report and Support:If you submit a report with details, an advisor will be in touch within 2 College Working Days. Advisors can help outline your formal reporting options (for both students and staff), as well as describing what these processes might look like and what an investigation would entail. Advisors in particular, can help support students from the start to finish of any formal reporting route.  
  • Report a Hate Crime to the Police: If you are not in immediate danger but would like to report a Hate Crime to the police you can use their online reporting tool- True Vision. True Vision has been developed so that you can report hate crimes online – you do not have to visit a police station to report. 
    The police take hate crime very seriously and will record and investigate this offence even if you do not want to give your details. You may also specify how you want to be contacted and if contacting you would cause you any difficulties.  The police will not pass on your details without your consent and we would urge you to give your details when you report. 
     
I would like emotional or more general support 

If you would like to speak to someone about how the incident(s) has emotionally affected you, or you would like to use some of the support services below for self-care, that is okay. 

  • Report and Support:If you submit a report with details, an advisor will be in touch within 2 College Working Days. Please remember that submitting a report with details through Report and Support, means that someone will be able to personally talk you through your support options and tailor advice to your needs. You will never be forced to submit a formal report.  
  • Wellbeing Support Services:The College’s Student Services Teams, and Personal Achievement Tutors can support you with practical and emotional issues impacting your wellbeing or mental health and aspects of College life, including referrals for counselling support. 
  • Personal Achievement Tutors: if your studies have been affected by an incident, your personal tutor could help to explain your options with regards to academic and pastoral support. 
  • Togetherall:both students and staff can access the online community, which supports populations with their mental health and wellbeing – helping with feels of anxiety, depression, isolation and stress, to relationship problems and lifestyle challenges. Togetherall have a network of trained professionals providing 24/7 support around the world.  

I know someone who has been affected by a Hate Incident and/or a Hate Crime 

 If you know someone who has been affected by a Hate Incident and/or a Hate Crime, it may be hard to know what to do or how to feel. That’s okay. There are lots of ways in which you can help support those affected.

The person’s reactions can vary; they may be afraid or act in ways that seem unusual to you, even laughing at times. 

Disclosures (telling someone about an experience) can come in many forms; it could be something said jokingly, it could be posed as a question, it could be said casually as part of a story. No one expects you to be a professional counsellor or therapist; however how someone responds to a first disclosure can be very important. 

It is vital that you listen, believe and support them. Never pressure someone into making choices. 

Think  
  • Are they in Immediate Danger?  

Report and Support is not an emergency reporting tool. 

If anyone is in immediate danger or seriously injured: 

  • On Campus, during office hours, call the Safeguarding Team: For Bedford sites 01234 291888, for Tresham sites01536 413004  
  • If you are Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, please send a text message, starting the message with the word safe to 07860 097683, this is available during office hours.
  • Off Campus, Emergency Services: 999
  • Find a Safe Space 

Safe Place Scheme:The Safe Place Scheme establishes a network of safe harbour locations on campus and its surroundings areas, providing consistent and appropriate levels of signposting and support following a violent, hateful or harassing incident. The scheme is intended to facilitate:  

    • Access to emergency support/security  
    • Signposting to reporting & support services  
    • A safe place to wait 
    • A Safe Space: If you cannot access one of these safe places, then try to find a space which makes you feel most comfortable and safe from harm.  
    • What is a Hate Incident and a Hate Crime?You may find it useful to think about what is meant by these terms, and examples of these behaviours.

 

Listen  
  • Listening is the most valuable thing you can do at first.  
  • Find a private place to talk, and tell them you are glad they are telling you.  
  • Be patient and let them tell you as little or as much as they want at their own pace, without interrupting. Talking about how they feel can be as helpful or more helpful than talking about the details. Take their lead on this.  
  • Show them that you are actively listening through your body language (e.g. nodding, facing in their direction, sitting down at eye level) and words (e.g. “I hear what you’re saying”).  
  • Respect their personal space, and do not touch them. Even if you think they want a comforting touch, resist your urge to do so.  
  • Always follow their lead. You can offer them something to keep them warm, like a blanket or your jacket (shock can involve feeling cold, shivering and shaking).  
  • Do not take detailed notes of what the person is telling you, or else these may be used in an investigation if the person ever chooses to report the incident. Listening and believing is key at this moment in time.  
  • Remember your role in this situation. It does not matter if you are someone’s best friend, a stranger, a personal tutor, a line manager or colleague; you are neither the police nor an investigating officer. You do not need to interrogate or question someone for details.  
Believe 
  •  Ensure you are non-judgemental, reassuring and supportive if you ever respond throughout listening. Use phrases such as:  
  • “I believe you. / It took a lot of courage to tell me about this.”  
  • “It’s not your fault. / You didn’t do anything to deserve this.”  
  • “You are not alone. / I care about you and am here to listen or help in any way I can.”  
  • “I’m sorry this happened. / This shouldn’t have happened to you.”  
Signpost 
  • If the person you are supporting is a College student or a staff member, then you should signpost them to Report and Support.  
  • Report and Support is the College’s single online reporting platform for direct, confidential help, and no report triggers a formal complaint.  
  • A full list of the support and reporting options for those affected by a Hate Incident and/or a Hate Crime can be found here.  
  • You can support someone in reporting the incident to the College, as the online form allows you to select if you are helping someone to input a report at this time. It will then guide you through the process step by step.  
  • If they do not want to discuss their options at this time, that is okay. Let them go at their own pace.  
  • Signpost them to Report and Support– if they ever choose to look through either their reporting or support options in their own time, they can all be found here.  
  • Never pressure someone into reporting. Regardless of whether you believe it is the right thing to do. This is about them and their choices, not yours. 
Ongoing Support 
  • Regardless of what they choose to do, offer your ongoing support.  
  • Check in periodically: The experience may have happened a long time ago, but that does not mean that the pain goes away. Check in with them, letting them know that you care about their well-being and that you believe them.   
  • Know your resources. You’re a strong supporter, but that doesn’t mean you’re equipped to manage someone else’s health. Become familiar with the Report and Support pages, as you can recommend to those affected
Remember  
  • They may not want to report the experience to the police or College. There are a lot of reasons why someone may choose not to report. That is okay. 
  • They may have fear or confusion about the reporting or support options, making them too intimidating to process at this time. Signposting for later reference, is still support. 
  • They might be concerned about who else will be informed- that is where the FAQs section is helpful.  
Self-Care: 
  • Receiving disclosures and supporting others can be incredibly difficult.  
  • All the support available to those directly affected by a Hate Incident and/or a Hate Crime is also available to supporters.  
  • Do not feel like you are not worthy of support, because the experience did not directly happen to you. You will not be able to support others, without first supporting yourself.