Hate crimes and incidents come in many different forms. It can be because of hatred on the grounds of your race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability.
Hate crime in any form is wrong.
That is why it is important that if hate crime happens to you or someone you know, that you report it.
South Yorkshire Police want to break through the barriers which often discourage people from reporting incidents of hate crime, in particular in relation to the LGBT community.
To tie in with LGBT history month throughout February, South Yorkshire Police is explaining why it’s so important to report incidents of hate crime and encourage people to report any incident, even if it doesn’t amount to a crime.
Incidents of hate crime are understood to be largely underreported, and in particular, incidents targeted towards members of the LGBT community.
It can be anything from assault, to name-calling, harassment and even blackmail, and is any crime or incident which is perceived by a person to be because of hostility or prejudice based on religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity or transgender identity.
Detective Chief Inspector Melanie Palin, the force lead for hate crime said: “To help us understand the true extent of hate crime in relation to members of the LGBT community we want to encourage people to report any incidents to us.
“It is only when an incident has been reported that we are we then able to fully investigate the matter and put the appropriate measures in place to continue to try and tackle these unacceptable crimes.
“Hate crime incidents can occur in everyday situations, from shopping, to eating out and using public transport, and can have long lasting emotional and psychological impact on a victim.
“We also appreciate that many people have concerns about reporting such incidents for fear of further incidents occurring or worrying that they could be ‘outed.’
“However, I would like to reassure people that any complaint made to us will be taken extremely seriously and treated with the utmost respect.
Incidents of hate crime can be reported in a variety of ways and whether it’s by coming directly to the police, going through a third party reporting centre or reporting online, DCI Palin hopes that by raising awareness and reaching out to various communities, more people will feel confident in coming forward to report such incidents.
Anyone who wishes to report a crime should call 101 if the incident has already happened. An incident of hate crime can also be reported online at southyorks.police.uk/reportcrime.
DCI Melanie Palin and PS Naomi Saxton will be taking part in a hate crime web chat on Thursday evening (18 February) from 7pm. You can join the live web chat by visit southyorks.police.co.uk/webchat