The campaign seeks to help the public understand what constitutes a hate crime, particularly offences which often people do not recognise as criminal, such as some forms of online and verbal abuse.
The campaign launched on 31 October with adverts running on video-on-demand sites, social media and posters to be displayed across the country. Each video or poster features a different offender, represented by an e-fit, and a hate crime taking place. These include:
a lesbian couple being verbally abused at a bar
racist graffiti being sprayed on the shop of a foreign couple
an offender posting hate-filled messages about a transgender woman online
a Muslim woman being aggressively shouted at to remove her headscarf and a Jewish man being abused in the street
a disabled man being verbally abused on a bus
The campaign seeks to reassure communities at risk of hate crime that the government takes this seriously and to publicly address the attitudes and beliefs that foster hate crime and re-establish boundaries around not targeting people on the basis of their identity. This includes educating perpetrators who have been motivated by hostility towards the victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability that they have committed a hate crime.
The strapline of the campaign sends a clear message about what hate crime is: ‘If you target anyone with verbal, online or physical abuse because of their religion, race, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity – you may be committing a hate crime. It’s not just offensive. It’s an offence.’
The dedicated campaign website also signposts organisations where victims and witnesses can get the support they need.
Minister for Countering Extremism Baroness Williams said: "Committing a hate crime goes against all the shared values we hold and can have a traumatic impact on victims. "The campaign gives clear examples of hate crime and sends a message that not only is this behaviour unacceptable, it is a criminal offence. "This is just one part of the ongoing work of the government to tackle hate crime to ensure this sickening behaviour is stamped out."
Wider work to tackle hate crime
The campaign forms part of the government’s wider programme of work to tackle hate crime. Earlier this month the government updated its hate crime action plan, which included:
asking the Law Commission to review hate crime legislation
further funding for community groups to tackle hate crime
extending the Places of Worship Security Scheme for a fourth year
If you or someone you know is suffering hate crime, or has suffered hate crime in the past, please contact the police on 101. In an emergency dial 999. If you can't tell the police, you can report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through their online form or contact a bespoke race, faith, disability or LGBT organisations. Information on these can be found on the True Vision website: www.report-it.org.uk