Student Wellbeing

Hate Crime

hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hatred, hostility, or prejudice towards a part or parts of a person's (or a group of people's) identity. For example, their race, religion, sexuality, gender identity, transgender status, or disability.

hate incident is any other incident that has the aim or effect of causing distress, harassment, or discrimination that has been motivated by hatred, hostility, or prejudice towards a part or parts of a person's identity.

Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is still important that we recognise and record these incidents. For more information, click here.

The parts of a person's identity are sometimes referred to as 'protected characteristics'. The Equality Act (2010) states that it is illegal to harass, intimidate, or discriminate against others on the basis of their protected characteristics (or a perception of their protected characteristics). There are eight protected characteristics stated in the Equality Act, click here for more information.
In the UK, Police forces must record incidents that are motivated by hatred of the following protected characteristics as hate crimes or hate incidents:

  1. Disability 
  2. Race or ethnicity 
  3. Religion or beliefs 
  4. Sexual orientation 
  5. Transgender identity 

Northumbria Police also record hate crimes and hate incidents that are motivated by hatred or hostility towards the victim-survivors':

  1. Age
  2. Gender
  3. Membership of subculture (e.g. goth)

Hate crimes and incidents can also be motivated by 'perception' and 'association'. This means that if the accused person wrongly assumes that the victim-survivor has a specific protected characteristic based on the way they look or who the victim-survivor associates with, the incident would still be considered as a hate crime or hate incident. 

Citizens Advice state that hate crimes can take many forms including:

  • Physical attacks such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbourly disputes and arson
  • Threat of attack including offensive texts, internet posts, abusive telephone calls
  • Behaviours designed to intimidate
  • Unfounded malicious complaints
  • Verbal abuse or insults
  • Offensive leaflets and posters
  • Abusive gestures and offensive and upsetting 'jokes'

What are the effects of hate crime?

Prejudice creates a hostile environment for all. While hate crime and hate incidents can affect people differently, if you have experienced a hate crime or hate incident you may:

  • Feel humiliated, uncomfortable, angry or upset
  • Have poor mental health such as anxiety, low mood and depression
  • Be reluctant to engage with work or studies
  • Feel unsafe on campus or in the city
  • Feel nervous, paranoid, vulnerable or stressed
  • Think about, make plans, or carry out self-harm
  • Misuse alcohol and substances
  • Feel confused and isolated

Hate crime and hate incidents are never the fault of the person who is experiencing it and support and guidance is available if you have experienced hate crime or hate incidents whilst studying or working at the University.

What should I do if I have experienced a hate crime?

What should I do if I have experienced a hate crime or hate incident since coming to University?

If you have experienced a hate crime or hate incident since coming to Newcastle University, you can seek support from our Survivor Support Service. To get this support you can use our Online Disclosure and Referral form or email

Our Survivor Support Service will provide free, safe, confidential support and guidance. We will meet with you one-to-one in a way that feels comfortable for you – online, in-person, or on the phone. First and foremost, we will listen. We will then offer support and guidance appropriate to your needs and what you would like help with. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Specialist counselling for survivors (we have provision for all genders) 
  • Information and support on pursuing a formal report (if you are reporting another student or colleague) 
  • If appropriate, referral to a Community Advocate who can provide practical and emotional support 
  • Support to inform your school of any support you might need with your studies because of what’s happened (if you consent to this – we will not automatically inform your school) 
  • Referral to specialist advice and guidance on areas such as finances, housing, and disability 

Experiencing hate crime or a hate incident can be a distressing and confusing time, and you may experience a range of difficult emotions and side-effects. Our Survivor Support Service believe you, and we will support you and your choices.

Supporting a survivor

We appreciate that you may be looking for information on how to support a survivor of a hate crime or hate incident. If this is the case, it is important that you take care of yourself, and support is available for you as well as the survivor:

If you are supporting a survivor or signposting them to relevant support, you should:

  • Listen to and believe the survivor
  • Do not judge or question
  • Make sure the survivor is aware of the support services available to them

Ultimately, it is important for the survivor to get specialist support, and this may be best provided by either the Survivor Support Service, or another relevant external service. Click here for more resources.