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.