Hate Crime and Hate Incidents

The University and Bucks Students’ Union believe that everyone has the right to work, live and study in a safe and supportive environment that is free from harassment and fosters inclusivity and respect.

We are working to empower students to prevent, respond, support and speak up in cases of hate crime, prejudice incidents and online harassment.

What is Hate Crime?

Hate Crime is a criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on:

  • A person’s race or perceived race
  • A person’s religion or perceived religion
  • A person’s sexual orientation or perceived orientation
  • A person’s gender identity or a person who is transgender/ perceived as transgender
  • A person’s disability or perceived disability

Hate/prejudice incidents are acts directed at people or property, that are not illegal, but which are perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by prejudice or hostility based on the five bullets listed above.

What type of behaviors might be considered as hate crime or incidents?

The following types of behaviour if combined with a perceived prejudice in respect of a person's sex, racial heritage, religion, disability or sexual orientation could amount to a hate crime:

  • Verbal abuse and harassment
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Physical assault and violence, including sexual violence
  • Property damage
  • Graffiti
  • Offensive mail.

Anyone can become a victim, no matter who they are, how old they are, their gender, their race, their sexual orientation, class, social standing, religion or background.

REMEMBER: if you have been a victim of any sort of prejudice incident, including hate crime or hate incident, it makes no difference where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, what you were saying, what your job is, if you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, it was not your fault; you are not to blame, and you are not alone; the perpetrator is entirely at fault.

Getting support for hate crime or prejudice incidents, whether recent or historical, can be really daunting. At Bucks, we realise it is very important for victims to be given their own choices when deciding on support options.

If you think you have been a victim of a crime or prejudice incident, it may be hard to know what to do or how to feel. Remember that what happened was not your fault. What you do next, however, is your choice.

Think

Are you in immediate danger or do you need urgent medical care? If so, you can call 999.

Finding a safe space.  

If possible, try and find somewhere you feel safe. If this isn't possible and you are on campus you can call security on 01494 605 070.

Talk

Speak to a friend. Talking things through with someone you trust can sometimes help.

If you're not sure whether you want to report to the police yet, you might choose to speak to someone at Victims First by calling 0300 1234 148 or visit their website: www.victims-first.org.uk. They will offer you free specialist emotion support and practical advice, in the event of any crime, to help you cope and recover.

If you feel ready to tell someone in the University, you can contact the University’s Case Manager, Julie Irwin on Julie.Irwin@bucks.ac.uk or call 01494 602324. We are here to listen to you, in confidence, and will help you access resources and make an informed decision about next steps - if and when you choose to. If you don’t want to inform the University, try to think about getting support from other organisations.

Reporting to the University

You are encouraged to report any incident to the University so that emotional support and practical help can be provided. Contact Case Manager, Julie Irwin on Julie.Irwin@bucks.ac.ukor 01494 602324.

Reporting to the Police or Victims First

  • If you're thinking of reporting an incident to the police or speaking to someone at Victims First, report-it.org have produced a useful page of what hate crime is and how to report.
  • Victims First will give you advice on reporting. Call 0300 1234 148 or visit their website for more information.
  • You can report to the Police by calling 101 or visiting your local station.

Anonymous Reporting

If you don’t want to report to the police, you can also report the incident anonymously by calling Crimestoppers at any point on 0800 555 111 or use their online form.

By reporting a hate crime or incident you are actively sharing information, and not appropriating prejudice behaviour. Once you report a range of actions take place to help the victim and any witnesses to identify and deal with the person responsible, preventing it from happening again.

These actions may include:

  • Advice and information for victims
  • Support for victims through any criminal prosecution
  • Rapid removal of offensive graffiti
  • Gathering of photo evidence of hate crime.
  • Extra home security for victims
  • Extra CCTV to identify people involved and help with evidence
  • Tenancy enforcement against people responsible for hate crime
  • Police investigation to gather evidence

Most commonly, if you decide to report, the report is carried out using a form which is filled in with as much or as little information as the person wants to give. However, if only a very small amount of information is shared, there might be limitations to the support and investigation that will take place.

Usual information asked for will include:

  • Category of hate incident (incident involving gender, racial heritage, religion, disability or sexual orientation)
  • What level of response the person making the report wants i.e:
    • Wants a multi-agency response
    • Wants to discuss the options further prior to further action being taken
    • Wants no further action taken at this stage
    • Victim not present - their wishes are not known
  • Details of person making the report (name, address, contact details, ethnicity, religion ( if religious incident))
  • Victim/complainant details if different from the person making the report
  • If known details of perpetrator
  • Details of witnesses
  • Details of incident and description of what happened.

Other support services include:

Multi Faith Chaplaincy

University Counselling Service

Student Advice Centre – staff can help with academic adjustments and accommodation changes

Victims First (Dedicated to making sure that all victims and witnesses receive the support they need to cope and recover. Contact for free support on 0300 1234 148)

Tell MAMA (A national project supporting victims of anti-Muslim hate and monitoring anti-Muslim incidents.)

Community Security Trust (CST) (A charity protecting British Jews from antisemitism and related threats.)

Galop (A national charity providing advice and support to members of the LGBT community.)

Inclusion London (A charity promoting equality for London’s Deaf and Disabled people.)

Samaritans (Call free, in confidence, 24 hours a day on 116 123)

Self Evident (Self Evident is a free mobile app by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) that makes it easy to record, save and share evidence of hate crime.)

If someone discloses to you that they have experienced any form of Hate crime or prejudice incident, believe and listen to them. Make sure you tell them it was not their fault and let them to be in control of their decisions around reporting or getting support for the incident, whether it is current or historical.

If you are a staff member receiving a disclosure, you must alert the Case Manager Julie Irwin on Julie.Irwin@bucks.ac.uk or 01494 602324. All disclosures are treated with the utmost confidence.

The discloser doesn’t have to access external services if they contact the University, but we can help them with this should they decide to.

More advice is available on the Victim Support Hate Crime page.

  • If someone discloses an incident of hate crime or prejudice, please remember that this information is highly confidential. Only pass on information on a ‘need to know’ basis, and always with the person’s permission.
  • If you are worried that they or others are at harm from the perpetrator or themselves, confidentiality can be breached as part of the University’s safeguarding policy. It is important to contact a member of staff such as your tutor or line manager. If you are concerned for an individual’s immediate safety or that of others, you should discuss this with them before any confidential information is disclosed to a third party. If you, or they, are in immediate danger contact the police on 999 or Security on 01494 505 070.
  • Unnecessary disclosures to multiple parties could result in disciplinary action. Information may only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis, with the consent of the survivor after explaining who you are telling and why, unless it is an emergency.