Hate Crime

Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by an offender's hatred of someone because of their: race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. Hate crime can take many forms including:


1.Physical attacks such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson
2.Threat of attack including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded, malicious complaints
3.Verbal abuse or insults - offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace.


Any incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate is to be treated as hate crime. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 created a number of new racially and religiously aggravated offences. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 introduced tougher sentences for offences motivated by hatred of the victim’s sexual orientation (this must now be taken into account by the sentencing court as an aggravating factor, in addition to race or religious hate motivation).


The Racial and Religious Hatred Act, which came into effect in 2007, makes it a criminal offence to use threatening words or behaviour with the intention of stirring up hatred against any group of people because of their religious beliefs or their lack of religious beliefs. What should you do if it happens to you or someone you know? If offenders are going to be punished, hate crimes must first be reported to the police. If you’re uncomfortable about going directly to the police, you can report hate crime to us. Alternatively, you can report an incident of hate crime anonymously and in strict confidence at a hate crime incident reporting site located across the borough. You can discuss your experience with a specially trained person to complete a hate crime incident reporting form.

For further information contact: 020 8558 6928

1. Waltham Forest Police on 020 8529 8666 or
2. Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 and ask for hate crime reporting. Minicom 020 8496 3010
3. To report it online, click on the following link: http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/safety/hate-crime/report-hate-crime.htm


In an emergency call 999.