Hate crime has a particularly harmful effect on its victims, as it seeks to attack an intrinsic part of who they are or who they are perceived to be. Hate crime victims are more likely to suffer repeat victimisation, more likely to suffer serious psychological impacts as a result, and less likely than the victims of other crime to be satisfied with the police response.

The police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have agreed the definition of a hate incident as: any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender. When hate incidents become criminal offences, they are known as hate crimes.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (now the National Police Chiefs Council) and the CPS have agreed a common definition of hate crime as:

“Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.”

Factsheet: Hate Crime (PDF, 614kb)

Key messages

  • The total number of hate incidents in County Durham reported to Durham Constabulary in 2015-16 reduced to 381 from 444 in the previous year. This is despite improved recording and a drive to increase reporting of hate crime.
  • The number of hate crimes in 2015-16 in County Durham reported to Durham Constabulary increased to 202 from 168 in the previous year. However, as is the case with reported incidents, the numbers are low.

Links to data