Liverpool Hope University condemns all forms of hate-motivated behaviour and is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment that is conducive to the academic, social and personal development of the student community here at Hope. The University is also committed to dealing with actions that have a negative impact on the safety and well-being of our community. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of what a hate incident and/or harassment is, the support services available and how you can access them.
The police and Crown Prosecution Service have agreed a common definition of hate-motivated incidents. They say something is a hate-motivated incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was triggered by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:
• Gender identity
• Sexual orientation
This means that if you believe something is a hate-motivated incident it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to. All police forces record hate incidents based on these five personal characteristics.
What type of incidents can be hate-motivated?
Hate-motivated incidents can take many forms, including:
• Verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes
• Bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers
• Physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
• Threats of violence
• Hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail
• Online abuse through social media
• Displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters
• Harm or damage to things such as your home, pet, vehicle
• Graffiti or arson
When is hate-motivated behaviour also a hate crime?
When hate-motivated behaviour become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. Any criminal offence can be a hate crime if it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation.
Examples of hate crimes include:
• Causing harassment, alarm or distress (Public Order Act 1986)
• Hate mail, including emails and social messaging (Malicious Communications Act 1988)
• Criminal damage
• Sexual Assault
What can you do about a hate-motivated incident or hate crime?
If you’ve experienced a hate-motivated incident or hate crime you have the option of reporting it to the University, where the incident took place on campus or involved another student or staff member. You also have the option of reporting the incident to the police. You can report an incident even if it wasn’t directed at you. For example, you could be a friend, neighbour, family member, support worker or simply a passer-by.
If reporting an incident or crime to the police, you should say whether you think it was because of disability, race, religion, transgender identity, sexual orientation or a combination of these things. This is important because it makes sure the police record it as a hate-motivated incident or crime.
If you’re being repeatedly harassed, should you report all the incidents?
If you've experienced hate-motivated behaviour towards you that involves more than a single isolated incident, it is advisable to record and report all incidents to help provide a full picture of what has occurred.