Hate Crime Policy

Approved by the Exec Team: November 2020
Approved by the Board: November 2020
Implemented on: 27th November 2020
Review Date: November 2023
Service Area: Operations

1. Scope

1.1 This is a short guide about hate crime, what it is, what you can do about it and who can help.

2. Introduction

2.1 This is a short guide about hate crime, what it is, what you can do about it and who can help.

2.2 MOUNT GREEN take hate crime very seriously because of the devastating impact it has on individuals and communities. All Mount Green residents have the right to go about their daily lives without fear or intimidation. No resident or staff member should feel they are picked on, singled out, excluded or mistreated because of who they are, or because they belong to a particular group.

3. What are hate incidents?

Something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:

3.1 Race

Any crime/incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partially) by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race, ethnicity, nationality or place of birth or perceived race etc

3.2 Religion

Any crime/incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s religion, faith or belief or perceived religion, faith or belief. This includes hatred towards atheists, agnostics and spiritualists. This also includes Sectarian hate (hatred between differing sections of the same religion).

3.3 Sexuality

Any crime/incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partially) by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, either lesbian, gay or bisexual.

3.4 Disability

Any crime/incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability, including both physical and mental disabilities.

3.5 Transgender

Any crime/incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partially) by a hostility or prejudice based to a person who identifies as transsexual, transgender or transvestite and anyone holding a gender recognition certificate.

3.6 Alternative Subculture

Any crime/incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partially) by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s connection or membership to an Alternative lifestyle/culture. This would typically include those who identify as Goths, Emos, New Age, and any subculture which has a strong identity with distinctive dress, specific and shared values and shared music styles. This means that if you believe something is a hate incident it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to.

Anyone can be the victim of a hate incident. For example, you may have been targeted because someone thought you were gay even though you’re not, or because you have a
disabled child.

4. What type of incidents can be a hate incident?

4.1 Hate incidents can take many forms. Here are examples of hate incidents:

  • verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes
  • harassment
  • 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 for example on Facebook or Twitter
  • displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters
  • harm or damage to things such as your home, pet, vehicle
  • graffiti
  • arson
  • throwing rubbish into a garden
  • malicious complaints for example over parking, smells or noise.

5. When is a hate incident also be a hate crime?

5.1 When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. A criminal offence is something which breaks the law of the land.
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
Here are examples of hate crimes:

  • assaults
  • criminal damage
  • harassment
  • murder
  • sexual assault
  • theft
  • fraud
  • burglary
  • hate mail
  • causing harassment, alarm or distress

6. Why should I report a hate crime?

6.1 By reporting hate crime, you can get the support you may need and help ensure offenders are brought to justice and can’t do the same to other people.

By reporting incidents, you’ll enable organisations like the police, local councils and housing associations to build up patterns of behaviour locally, and highlight areas of concern within your community.

By reporting what’s happened to you, you may also prevent these incidents from happening to someone else. or on an estate.

Depending on the nature of the works, a more extensive programme of decanting may be required.

7. Report it to the police

7.1 If you’ve experienced a hate incident or crime you can report it to the police. You can also report a hate incident or crime even if it wasn’t directed at you. For example, you could be a friend, neighbour, family member or simply a passer-by.

When reporting the incident or crime 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 incident or crime.

You may be unsure whether the incident is a criminal offence, or you may think it’s not serious enough to be reported. If you are distressed and want something done about what happened, it’s always best to report it. Although, the police can only charge and prosecute someone when the law has been broken, there are other things the police can do to help you deal with the incident.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some hate crimes start as smaller incidents which may escalate into more serious and frequent attacks – so it’s always best to act early.

8. Report it to Mount Green

8.1 Please contact us if you’ve been affected by a hate crime or hate incident. All tenants are responsible for ensuring they, their household and visitors do not harass others. If you report a hate incident to us we will ask for the details and discuss any immediate action that needs to be taken. If you want us to investigate we’ll interview you to get all the details and then agree an ‘action plan’.

We’ll need to collect evidence to help us decide what to do and we may ask you to report the incident to the police. We may work with them to resolve the problem or leave it with them to work with you. We may interview other witnesses.

Our investigation may take a few days or a few weeks, but we’ll keep you informed as we go. We’ll then decide what action, if any, we can take to stop the problem, based on whether anyone has breached the terms of their tenancy agreement.

We’ll let you know our decision and get your agreement to any action we want to take.

9. If you’re being repeatedly harassed, should you report all the incidents?

9.1 If you’ve experienced hate crime, it may have been just one isolated incident. But sometimes, you may be repeatedly harassed by the same person or group
of people.

It’s best to report all the hate incidents you experience to help the police and Mount Green get the full picture. If you’re in this situation, it may be a good idea to keep a record of the incidents to help you when you contact the police.

10. Where can I get Help and Support?

10.1 There are many national organisations that provide good general advice online. Some will have helplines and may be able to give advice over the phone. You can also discuss the incident with an agency such as Citizens Advice to learn more about your options.

The list below is not comprehensive, but gives details of some of the national bodies with an interest in tackling hate crime and supporting its victims.

Review of policy and procedure

MOUNT GREEN is committed to providing on-going training to tenants, staff and board members to ensure awareness and understanding of this policy and associated procedure.

This policy will be reviewed on a regular basis, in line with changes in working practises or changes in legislation.

Equality and Diversity

For Mount Green, diversity is about respecting people’s individual differences and ensuring that all people that come into contact with us have access to the same high standards of behaviour and service.

We are committed to ensuring that no resident will be treated less favourably because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation.