LGBT and the Law

Hate Crime

Are you or have you been a victim of hate crime?

Would you know if you had been a victim of hate?

Have you ever been to the Police to report an incident?

GADD provides services to those who have been victims or want to report an incident but are frightened or suspicious of the Police and the criminal justice system.

What is Hate Crime?
Distinction between a Hate Incident and a Hate Crime
A Hate Incident is defined as:
Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
 A Hate Crime is defined as:
Any hate incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
The areas included in these definitions by law are:


Race
Sexual orientation
Disability
Faith
 
Notice that Transgender (Gender Identity) is not mentioned here directly but it is included by the criminal justice system as part of sexual orientation.  The Guidance from ACPO (association of chief police officers) stipulates that Transphobic hate crime exists. There is no actual statute of law that includes a direct offence of homophobic or Transphobic crime.  They are included as aggravating circumstances to a crime.
There is one crime of incitement to homophobic hatred which parallels the race related legislation but it is untried in court as yet?
Comments from people about hate crime and the police services?
What’s the point?
The law has changed and everything is ok now?
I am alright being called faggot and queer is just part of being gay?
The police never do anything!
These are just some of the things we hear at GADD from people.

The reality is that the Police have to take crime seriously and if they do not then there are actions that can be taken to enable action is taken.  The main reason when it appears no action is taken is that the criminal justice system needs evidence to prosecute a crime. When there is enough evidence it prosecute they do work hard to get the prosecution.  Witness statements, video footage, forensics and photographs can all be considered.  When there is evidence GADD has helped the police get good convictions and in some cases prison sentences. 
It helps if you keep notes or diaries of incidents when abuse occurs try to remember who is targeting you.  Dates time and frequency of events.  It is not ok for someone to use language against you just because they see you as an easy target.  Verbal abuse is threatening and creates fear of either personal safety or imminent fear. These are all covered by the law if they occur in public they are covered under public order offences.  When someone is attacked physically it tends to be a follow on from verbal abuse as an escalation of other incidents. 
What do I do now?
If you are a victim of abuse report it either to GADD's criminal Justice worker for support and advice.
The CJW's job is to work on your behalf with the Police and other agencies to help you resolve the problem.  It may be that the Police are not the right way to deal with incidents for instance council tenants have access to tenancy support around anti social behaviour.
If you are in imminent danger use 999 and seek immediate police support. 
Call 01325 355551 or 07950 920 261
Email: cjw@gayadvicedarlington.co.uk
 
Remember we all have the right to live in safety and the Hate crime service we provide can go a long way to help that happen.