If you are in any immediate danger dial 999
Q:What is Hate Crime?
A: Hate Crime is a crime motivated by prejudice – based on what someone’s identity is or what it is perceived to be.
The police definition is:
"any incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate"
The key to this definition is ‘perception’. If the victim or witness perceives that it was transphobic then it should be logged by the police as transphobic.
Even if the victim does not perceive it is a hate crime a witness may.
Q: What is transphobic hate crime?
A: The police define transphobic hate crime as:
"any incident which is perceived to be Transphobic by the victim or any other person"
Q: Which trans people does this cover?
A: You do not have to prove you are trans to be a victim of transphobic hate crime. It is not like the other trans legislation where you have to say you are ‘intending to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment’.
So for example someone who looks like a trans person may also experience transphobia.
Q: I reported transphobic hate crime but the police told me that they do not record it – only race hate crime
A: This is correct as technically speaking, there is no separate offence as a ‘transphobic hate crime’ i.e someone cannot be prosecuted for transphobic hate crime. There are only Racial Aggravated offences – eg racial aggravated assault, racial aggravated criminal damage, racial aggravated harassment, racial aggravated public order.
However what usually happens is someone commits a crime which is motivated by transphobia (usually a Public Order offence or Harassment), then the transphobic element is ‘added on’ or ‘tagged’- as a transphobic incident.
For example A is in a street and shouts to a trans person ‘you tranny freak I’m gonna smash your face in’. They would be charged with section 4 Public Order and the incident would then also be recorded as a transphobic incident.
Whether or not a crime has been committed or it is an incident, if there is a transphobic element, it has to be recorded by the police as a transphobic incident. (since April 2008 the Home Office has required the police to do this).
Some police forces do not have a separate marker for transphobic on their computers and it will be recorded as homophobic/transphobic.
Q: What about prosecuting offenders?
A: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will seek to prosecute (if there is enough evidence), as hate crime is viewed by the CPS as in the ‘public interest’.
You are much more likely to have a successful prosecution if you have a witness.
The court does not have to prove hatred - but hostility.
This means that at the time of the offence or immediately before, hostility was demonstrated – eg someone was called ‘tranny’; ‘pervert’ ‘sex change’ ‘freak’ etc.
Hostility can also proved if those remarks have been said previously and then a week later the offender assaults the trans person.
Obviously if it is an incident and no crime has been committed, the CPS will not be involved.
Q: What about newspapers in the court identifying me?
A: The courts can provide reporting restrictions if it is proved that the quality of the evidence given by a witness will be improved.
This is called a ‘Section 46 Direction’ (Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999)
It will restrict the reporting of certain details of witnesses in the media that may lead to their identification.
You must ask the CPS to seek this at the beginning of the process.
Please let us know in our quick online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/transphobichatecrime
How to Report Hate Crime
You can call the police or go to the Police Station.
The address and phone number of your local station can be found in your yellow pages under Police, or at www.yell.com
If you are in any immediate danger dial 999
You must not wait - call them immediately. Tell them you are being threatened or attacked NOW and that you need URGENT help NOW.
There are also different ways to report hate crime these days without having to go direct to the police. Here are some resources:
Stop Hate UK a charity, have an online reporting facility where you can report anonymously if you wish:
In Wales all forms of hate crime may be reported anonymously through the independent charity Safer Wales who have an online system and freepost leaflets available across Wales.
In Scotland you can report online http://www.stophateincentralscotland.org.uk/page6.htm