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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.

#HateCrimeHurts. To stop it. Report it. Put yourself in their shoes.

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.

How we work with partners

Lisburn and Castlereagh

Neighbourhood Policing Officers in Lisburn and Castlereagh continue to work with partners in the Policing Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and the Hate Crime Advocacy Service to raise awareness around hate crime.

Together, they have hosted public meetings focusing on Hate Crime, encouraging the public to imagine themselves as victims of hate crimes and emphasising the importance of reporting such incidents.

These events show how Neighbourhood Policing Officers are committed to working with diverse communities, addressing hate crimes in Lisburn and Castlereagh, and supporting those affected.

PCSP Public Themed Meeting on Hate Crime

Causeway Coast and Glens

Neighbourhood Policing Officers in Causeway Coast and Glens regularly connect with diverse communities and aim to support anyone affected by hate crimes. The team continue to work with partners in the Policing Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) to raise awareness and address community concerns.

Recently, they organised a public event to coincide with Hate Crime Awareness Week which was attended by people who live and work in the area. Attendees had the opportunity to listen to diverse personal stories from individuals of various backgrounds, highlighting their experiences living in Northern Ireland.

Police Causeway Coast and Glens officers working with partners in the Policing Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) to raise awareness and address community concerns about Hate Crime.

Watch a short video which outlines how we work with our partners to make sure victims feel confident and supported through the criminal justice process.

Reporting a Hate Crime

The Police Service operates a Non-Emergency Online Reporting Form where you can report any incident that is perceived to have been committed against another person because of their race, religion, political opinion, disability or sexual orientation or sexual identity. Hate crimes and incidents are taken to mean any crime or incident where the perpetrator’s hostility or prejudice against an identifiable group of people is a factor in determining who is victimised.

USE FOR NON-EMERGENCIES ONLY – Reports submitted are not monitored 24-hours a day

In a non-emergency you can also contact police by dialling 101 or use our Minicom number 028 9090 1246.

Reporting incidents will help the Police Service tackle hate crime. The information you provide is important and will enable the police to identify areas of concern, patterns of behaviour, and may assist in identifying and prosecuting offenders.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Information about hate crime in your neighbourhood can also be passed on anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111.

Here to Help

Did you know that police work closely with Hate Crime Advocates to give victims the confidence to report incidents and crimes? 

Hate Crime Advocates are specialists within independent community organisations who can assist victims of racist, LGBT+ and disability hate crime to access services, provide support and guidance, and be the voice of the victim. They are a vital part of the work we do to build trust with victims and ensure we have all the evidence and information needed to resolve issues within communities and get justice for victims.

The Hate Crime Advocacy Service is funded by the Department of Justice and Police Service of Northern Ireland and co-ordinated by Victim Support NI.

There are five hate crime advocates whose role it is to make contact with victims and signpost them to other services such as legal advice, housing issues, and health and psychological support. They also assist in facilitating contact with investigating officers and supporting victims throughout the investigative process.

The advocates meet with police on a monthly basis to identify and resolve emerging issues and to share best practice.

To contact the Racist Hate Crime Advocate visit the Migrant Centre NI.

To contact the LGB&T Hate Crime Advocate visit The Rainbow Project.

To contact the Disability Hate Crime Advocate contact Leonard Cheshire Disability.

You can also access these services through Victim Support NI.

The Hate Crime Advocacy Service (HCAS) offers a safe and confidential space to provide support to victims of hate and signal crimes across the different protected characteristics. 

#Voices Campaign

One of our campaigns #Voices is used to highlight Hate Crime in Northern Ireland.

It is a series of short videos narrated by victims describing their own personal experiences of Hate Crime. We want to encourage people to think about the human impact of these wholly unjustified and unacceptable attacks and the long lasting physiological and emotional damage they can cause.

You can watch each video below:

#Voices Campaign