Somerset County Council

Hate crimes and hate incidents


A hate incident is when the victim or anyone else thinks an incident, such as bullying or abuse, was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:

  • Disability (including physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities and mental health issues)
  • Race, skin colour, ethnic origin, nationality (including against gypsies and travellers)
  • Religion or belief (or lack of religious belief)
  • Sexual orientation (including homophobia)
  • Gender identity (including resentment of transgender people, transsexuals and transvestites)

When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. Any criminal offence can be a hate crime if it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation.

Reporting a hate incident or crime
If you or someone you know has experienced hate crime, reporting it can stop it happening to someone else. Hate crime and incidents can impact people who are abused, their family and the wider community in many different ways. Telling someone means you can get support and this can help alleviate the impacts. Reporting it also helps the police better understand the level of hate crime in your area and improve the way they respond to it. 

Incidents can be reported by victims or witnesses. 

Incidents can range from verbal abuse, threatening or aggressive behaviour – even through letters, emails or social media – criminal damage to personal property, or physical attacks.

You can do this by contacting the police to report hate crime.

  • call 999 if a crime is happening now or if someone is in immediate danger
  • call 101 if it’s not an emergency
  • fill in the online crime form at
  • visit your local police station

If you have been a victim of a hate crime and would like support, or support with reporting a hate crime, please contact the hate crime support service in Somerset, which is called SARI. SARI is funded by Big Lottery to deliver the Every Victim Matters Hate Crime Service for Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset. You can contact them on

emergencySMS service
This service lets people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impediment contact the emergency service by texting 999. Mobile phone numbers must be registered with the service before it can be used. To find out more, visit emergencySMS website   

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