1.8 Supporting families experiencing hate incidents, crimes and harassment

Show amendments

Last reviewed in Jan 2024

Date of next review Jan 2026

See also - Hate crime | Sussex Police

Report hate crime - Report hate crime | Sussex Police


Nationally Monitored Strands of Hate


The Home Office mandates police forces to report on five nationally monitored strands of hate:

  • Disability or perceived disability
  • Race or perceived race
  • Religion or perceived religion
  • Sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation
  • transgender or perceived to be transgender.

Sussex Police acknowledges that other groups, such as sex workers and alternative lifestyles like Goths, can also be targets of hate crimes. Any crime or incident motivated by hostility or prejudice against groups outside these five strands will be recorded as 'Hate Other.'


Individuals may experience multiple forms of discrimination or oppression simultaneously due to the intersection of various social identities, such as race, gender, sexuality, disability, and socio-economic status. In the context of hate incidents/ crimes, intersectionality underscores the importance of understanding how these intersecting identities shape individuals' experiences of victimisation and access to resources and support.

Nature of Hate Crimes


Hate crimes target individuals for their identity or perceived identity, sending a personal message to the victim and reinforcing discrimination against certain communities. These crimes involve hostility or prejudice against an identifiable group of people and can take various forms including physical attacks, threats, verbal abuse, harassment, and cyber-enabled offenses.



Children and families from minority groups related to their protected characteristics are likely to experience harassment, discrimination, and institutional bias.

Signs that someone may be experiencing hate crimes or incidents include:

  • unexplained absence from school
  • changes in behavior or appearance
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • aggression
  • self-harm
  • substance misuse.

It is crucial for all agencies to recognise and respond effectively to harassment and hate incidents, including those occurring online, to protect children from significant harm.

Recognising hate incidents/crime


The term "hostility" lacks a legal definition, so police interpret it based on everyday understanding, including ill-will, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment, and dislike. Any criminal offense perceived by the victim or another person to be motivated by hate is considered a hate crime, regardless of evidence.

Recording and Reporting


Following the Court of Appeal Judgment in Miller v College of Policing (2019), the Government issued a Non-crime hate incidents: code of practice - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Hate incidents should be recorded where there is evidence of hate motivation but not where there is no basis for concluding hostility. That said, low-level or repeat incidents should be recorded and reported.


Professionals concerned about a child or family being the victim of a hate crime/incident should contact Sussex Police ASB/Hate Crime Coordinator for advice - Local Contact Details 

For details on how to report hate crime pelase see - Report hate crime | Sussex Police 

Victims may choose not to engage with the police directly, and there are charities and organizations, like the Hate Support Service at Victim Support Sussex, that offer free, independent, and confidential support to victims and witnesses of hate-related crimes and incidents. Reporting a crime is not necessary to receive support.

For more information, visit www.victimsupport.org.uk or contact sussexhateincidentreport@victimsupport.org.uk or 08 08 16 89 111.

This page is correct as printed on Tuesday 16th of July 2024 07:39:22 AM please refer back to this website (http://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk) for updates.