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Hate crime and counter terrorism

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First published
Written by College of Policing
Hate crime
4 mins read

Not all hate crime is linked to extremism and terrorism, but it is likely that a terrorist act will be motivated by hate. The hate may be personal, ideological or the result of manipulation by others and it is important to recognise the links, particularly in respect of intelligence handling.

Many perpetrators of terrorist activity commit less serious hate crimes prior to progressing to more serious offending. Not every hate crime offender will escalate to extremist crime, and the challenge is to identify those with the potential to do so, thereby enabling counter-terrorist colleagues to reduce the risk posed.

The following features may suggest the need for a more robust and timely policing response. This list is not definitive or exhaustive:

  • crimes fuelled by extremist ideologies, for example, racial supremacy or religious extremism
  • crime series which are linked and escalating in seriousness
  • crimes that seek to justify or glorify genocide or other war atrocities
  • repeated crimes that target the same victim group (or demographic)
  • perpetrators who demonstrate support for regimes responsible for genocide or extremist behaviour
  • perpetrators who host, post, share or follow extremist web content (this may be, or indicate precursor activity to more serious offending)
  • perpetrators who distance themselves from family and/or friends

It is important that any suspicions or relevant intelligence are fed into counter-terrorism intelligence systems.

To ensure that forces recognise and respond to risk indicators, staff should be made aware of potential risk factors and links. In addition, counter-terrorism colleagues should have oversight of reported hate crimes and associated intelligence.

Additional resources for officers and staff are available from local Prevent teams and/or CT Policing Online (accessible from a PNN address only).


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