The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to investigating all hate crimes and working with our partners to increase reporting and support victims.
Find out more about how you can report a hate crime and what we can do to help below.
What is a Hate Crime?
A hate and signal crime or incident will be recorded where it is perceived that the perpetrator’s hostility or prejudice against any person or property is on the grounds of the victim’s ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, political opinion or disability.
The impact of hate and signal crime can be long lasting and far reaching, going beyond the victim’s own experience and increasing fear in the wider community.
Our key priority is to ensure that the needs of all victims are a priority throughout the investigation process.
Hate crimes can take many forms, including:
- Verbal abuse/intimidation and harassment
- Physical assault which can include; punching, slapping, hair pulling, biting, burning hitting, choking or kicking
- Criminal damage to property
Evidence is NOT the test when reporting a hate incident. The perception of the victim or any other person is the defining factor in determining whether an incident is a hate incident, or in recognising the hostility element of a hate crime.
It would not be appropriate to record a crime or incident as a hate crime or hate incident if it was based on the perception of a person or group who had no knowledge of the victim, crime or the area, and who may be responding to media or internet stories or who are reporting for a political or similar motive.