How to report a hate incident or hate crime
If you’ve experienced, or know someone who has experienced, a hate incident or hate crime you can report it to the police.
You can contact the police directly, or you can use an online reporting facility such as True Vision. There are also local organisations who can help you report the incident or crime.
Reporting to the police using the True Vision website
You can report a hate incident or crime online on the True Vision website. Once you’ve filled in the form on the website, it’s sent directly to your local police force. You can also use the self-reporting form which you must then send to your local police.
It’s important to give as many details as possible, as this helps the police deal with your case more effectively. If you want the police to investigate the incident, you need to provide your contact details and the best time to contact you.
You may be worried about the police contacting you at home. If this is the case, you can ask the police to contact you through someone you trust and who has agreed to provide their details. You still need to provide your contact details as well.
If you need help and support with reporting the incident, you can contact a Citizens Advice Bureau.
Useful information to include in your form
The reporting forms tell you what information you need to give the police when reporting the hate incident or crime. Here are some additional tips on useful information to include.
When describing the offender it’s useful to give general information such as age, height, build, gender, ethnicity and clothing. Also try to remember any particular features such as :
- hair colour
- jewellery or piercing
- facial hair
- a particular accent
- birth marks.
If a vehicle was involved, in addition to the make, model and colour, you may have noticed if it had stickers, sun shades or car seats. Did the car look old or new? Did it have any other marks or signs of damage?
If the incident involved damage to property, you should describe the damage or loss as well as the costs involved if possible. You can also take photos of the damage to show the police.
If the police don’t get back to you
If you’ve not heard from the police within 7 days you should contact them directly.
Reporting the incident directly to the police
You can report the incident directly to the police by visiting your local police station or by phone.
When you report the incident you should ask for the incident reference number, this will help you in any further dealings with the police.
If you don’t want to report the incident, you can ask someone else to phone the police on your behalf such as a friend or relative. You can also contact a Citizens Advice Bureau to help you phone the police.
You can find details of your local police station on the Police.UK website at
Help dealing with the police
When you contact the police, you can ask to be interviewed at the police station, your home or some other place you have agreed on. For example, it may be possible for the police to interview you at your local Citizens Advice Bureau - if they allow this. In any case, it’s generally advisable for someone else to come with you. For example, you can ask a skilled adviser, friend or solicitor to come with you.
If you have difficulty with English
If you have difficulty speaking or understanding English, you may find it helpful to have an interpreter with you. You can ask the police to provide an interpreter. You can also ask a friend or relative, or approach a local advice organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau. If the police refuse to provide an interpreter, you can ask to see their policy on translators and interpreters and you may want to consider making a complaint.
To report an incident to the police by phone, call 101.
Relay UK - if you can't hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 101
You can use Relay UK with an app or a textphone. There’s no extra charge to use it. Find out how to use Relay UK on the Relay UK website.
If it’s an emergency you should call 999.
- If you need help and advice to report an incident or crime search for your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau
Other useful information
- Report a hate incident or crime on the True Vision website, at www.report-it.org.uk
- For an easy read reporting form go to www.report-it.org.uk
- Go to the Stop Hate UK for more information on hate crime, at www.stophateuk.org