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’.
It is vitally important to note that all hate crimes will also be hate incidents. However, some hate incidents may not constitute a criminal offence and therefore will not be recorded as a crime, just an incident.
It is imperative that all agencies respond appropriately and professionally to reports of hate in order to provide a good quality service, taking into account the victims views and wishes. However, it is accepted that many hate crimes and hate incidents regularly go unreported to police and as such, the support structures and contact provided through the local Hate Crime & Incident Action Groups is essential.
It must be clearly understood that evidence of an offence is not a requirement for a hate incident to be recorded.
There is no evidential test as to what is or is not a hate incident - Perception by anyone that a hate incident has occurred is all that is required.