Hate crime

Authorised Professional Practice

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This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.

Major investigation and public protection

This guidance is for police officers and staff at all levels of the police service, working alongside partners where appropriate, to deliver a consistent, proportionate and robust policing response to hate crime and non-crime hate incidents. The guidance sets out arrangements that forces should consider to support an effective response to allegations of hate crime and non-crime hate incidents. It also includes content for those responding to these events.

These crime and non-crime incidents may have a disproportionate psychological, and in some cases physical, impact on victims and the wider community as compared to equivalent ‘non-hate’ crimes (Hall, 2005; Home Office (2018) Hate Crime, England and Wales, 2017/18, page 28).

Hate crimes can be socially divisive, potentially heightening tensions between communities (Hall, 2005). They are likely to involve repeated victimisation (Home Office (2018) Hate Crime, England and Wales, 2017/18, page 24), and they can increase the risk of civil disorder (Hall, 2005).

Hate crimes may be, or may become, critical incidents, regardless of how trivial an incident may initially appear.

In all cases of hate or hostility, victims should be treated sensitively in a way that is appropriate to their needs, recognising the greater impact that hate crimes and incidents may have on victims.

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