What is Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services?

Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services (BHC&DS) is a partnership of six organisations:

We aim to offer a complete service for victims of hate crime and discrimination in Bristol.

The partnership and the work it carries out is funded by Bristol City Council's Impact Fund.

What is hate crime?

A crime is an act which breaks the law. A crime becomes a hate crime when it is motivated by hostility or prejudice toward a protected characteristic. This could be your:

  • Ethnicity or race
  • Disability (including mental health issues)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Religion or belief
  • Age
  • Gender

Hate crime can be many offences, but is most often a physical attack, name calling or verbal abuse. It could also include:

  • threats, harassment or intimidation.
  • offensive gestures, humiliation or degradation.
  • vandalism or criminal damage to your property.
  • offensive letters, leaflets, or graffiti.
  • abusive emails, texts, phone calls or other forms of cyber-bullying.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is most typically found in the workplace, though it can also apply to education, housing, shopping, services, and private clubs or associations. Discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy or marital status is against the law.

Discrimination can come in the following forms:

Direct discrimination
Treating someone with protected characteristic less favourably than others.

Indirect discrimination
Putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage.

Unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone's dignity or creates an offensive environment for them.

Treating someone unfairly because they've complained about discrimination or harassment.

Caseworker using computer
Caseworker completing paperwork
Caseworker taking phone call

How can I report it?

You can report hate crime using our online form.

We aim to contact you about your referral within 5 working days.

You can also speak to someone in person by calling us on freephone 0800 171 2272.

You should report all hate crime, whether you’re the victim, a witness, or you are making the report for someone else.

We would also encourage you to report hate crime or discrimination to any other relevant organisation, including (but not limited to):

  • your housing association
  • your local council
  • your school, college or university
  • your workplace or union

If you—or someone else—is in immediate danger, always call the police on 999.

WHAT support will I receive?

BHC&DS offers a support service for victims of hate crime that is free and confidential.

  • We can support you to cope with the emotional, physical and mental trauma caused by
    hate crime.
  • We can work with you to look at your options for taking action to resolve your case.
  • We can work with statutory and voluntary agencies on your behalf, to encourage them to take action, to get updates, and to ensure that they do the right thing.
  • We can support you through legal proceedings relating to your case.
  • We can help you make complaints against other agencies.
  • We can make referrals to other services you need.

Your caseworker will work with you and on your behalf to get the best outcome for you.

Caseworker smiling at client
Clients talking with caseworker
Close up of paperwork
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