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Authorised Professional Practice

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

First published
Written by College of Policing
Major investigation and public protection
4 mins read

Hate crime intelligence may not be as obvious as that concerning other areas of criminality, for example, burglary or robbery. Indicators can be misinterpreted. The fear of becoming a victim may be greater than the likelihood of being victimised.

Community intelligence

The value of community intelligence was detailed in the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) report Winning the race − embracing diversity.

HMICFRS defined community intelligence as:

local information, direct or indirect, that when assessed provides intelligence on the quality of life experienced by individuals and groups, that informs both the strategic and operational perspectives in the policing of local communities.

Community voices

These can range from formalised meetings with community leaders to daily interaction between patrol officers and individuals in the community. The input from ordinary members of communities can be invaluable, particularly from those who, while not claiming to represent a targeted group, are held in esteem locally, especially by young people.

For further information see APP on Engagement and communication.

Covert human intelligence source

Intelligence suggests that those targeting vulnerable communities with hate-motivated hostility may broadcast or even exaggerate their exploits. Potential sources of information for other criminality may, therefore, also have information relating to hate crime.

Open source

The following sources, although not an exhaustive list, should be considered when carrying out research as they may enhance the intelligence product:

  • traditional and online newspapers (national, local and specific interest publications, such as The Voice, Asian Times, Gay Times, G3, Diva)
  • the internet and other online sources
  • demographic material, such as census data
  • periodicals
  • broadcast media
  • opinion polls
  • academic research
  • bill posters or stickers
  • partnership information

Crime pattern analysis (CPA)

Hate crime hot spots are frequently more difficult to identify as the underlying cause may not be easy to determine. For example, an increase in criminal damage to vehicles may not only constitute vandalism, but it could also represent a targeted attack on users of particular religious premises. See Crime pattern analysis.

Online hate material

One of the most common forms of hate crime is material sent via the internet and/or social media. Analysis of such material can identify offenders and potential precursor activity. See Online hate crime.

The National Community Tension Team (NCTT) monitors national tensions and can provide information to forces.


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