How Do I Report It?
All hate crimes and incidents should be reported.
By reporting, you will help people like the police, local councils, and housing associations to see patterns of behaviour locally, and help to show areas that could be a problem within your community.
But more importantly, you can get the support you need and help make sure that offenders are brought to justice and cannot do the same to other people.
There are lots of ways you can report a hate crime. You can report if you are the victim, or if you have seen this happen to someone else, or if someone asks you to report it for them.
In an emergency
- call 999
- If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergencySMS first. See the Police Scotland website for details.
Contact your local police station
- You can speak to the police in confidence. You do not have to tell them your personal details, but any investigation and ability to prosecute the offender(s) is limited if the police cannot contact you. Contact your local police force, either by telephone or by visiting your local police station. Details on how to contact your local police force can be found on the Police Scotland website
3rd party reporting centres
- Sometimes victims/witnesses of Hate Crime do not feel comfortable reporting to the Police and may be more comfortable reporting it to someone they are familiar with.
- 3rd party reporting centres
- If you do not want to talk to the police or fill in the reporting forms, you can still report a hate crime by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via their website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org You do not have to give your name and what you say is confidential. It is free to call.
Who To Contact?
- Citizens Advice Scotland – Scotland’s largest independent advice network.
- Crimestoppers – An independent charity that gives people the power to speak up to stop crime 100% anonymously.
- Equality & Human Rights Commission – The Equality and Human Rights Commission is Great Britain’s national equality body and has been awarded an ‘A’ status as a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) by the United Nations.
- I Am Me – A community charity that aims to change attitudes and behaviours so that disabled and vulnerable people in Scotland feel safe in their communities.
- Police Scotland -Information about hate crime provided by Police Scotland.
- Samaritans – Providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom
- Stop Hate Crime UK – Stop Hate UK is one of the leading national organisations working to challenge all forms of Hate Crime and discrimination, based on any aspect of an individual’s identity.
- SupportLine – Confidential emotional support to children, young adults and adults by telephone, email and post.
- Victim Support – Free and confidential support to help you move beyond the impact of crime.
- Your Local Authority – Contact details for each local council across Scotland.
Hate incidents are any events where you or another person perceive the event to be motivated by prejudice towards a particular group who are protected from such prejudice being directed at them.
Hate crime is any offence that has been aggravated by prejudice against a protected group.
Read this page to find out how you can report a hate incident or crime and what to do if you have problems reporting an incident.
Useful information to include in your form if you were attacked or witnessed a hate incident
The reporting forms tell you what information you need to give the police when reporting the hate crime. Here are some additional tips on useful information to include :
- how you were attacked
- if you know it, the identity of the attacker and where s/he lives or, alternatively, what the attacker looked like and/or what they were wearing
- what, if anything, was said by the attacker, particularly anything insulting about you
- why else you regard the attack as having been prejudiced against you
- if you have been attacked before, when and by whom
- where the attack was made
- when the attack was made (date and time of day or night)
- the nature of any injuries sustained. It might be helpful to obtain medical evidence
- if anyone else was attacked
- the names and addresses of any witnesses.
When describing the offender it’s useful to give general information such as age, height, build, gender, ethnicity and clothing. Also try to remember any particular features such as:
- hair colour
- jewellery or piercing
- facial hair
- a particular accent
- birth marks.
If a vehicle was involved, in addition to the make, model and colour, you may have noticed if it had stickers, sun shades or child car seats. Did the car look old or new? Did it have any other marks or signs of damage?
If the incident involved damage to property, you should describe the damage or loss as well as the costs involved if possible. You can also take photos of the damage to show the police.