Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI) specialise in race and faith-based hate crime.
Brandon Trust specialise in supporting disabled people and tackling disability hate crime.
LGBT Bristol support people who have been victims of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crime.
Bristol Mind supports victims of disability hate crime due to their mental health, and promotes better mental health for all.
Avon and Bristol Law Centre help people with complex cases involving the law.
Bristol Mediation work with people to resolve conflict or repair harm through direct or indirect communication.
Hate crime is a crime motivated by prejudice against another person because of their ethnicity, race, disability (including mental health), sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief.
Hate crime can be:
• A physical attack, like assault or spitting
• Name calling, verbal abuse or rude gestures
• Threats, harassment or intimidation
• Humiliation or degradation
• Vandalism or other criminal damage to your property
• Abusive letters, phone calls, leaflets, posters, graffiti, emails, social media messages, texts or phone calls
• 'Mate crime', which is when a person with a learning disability, autism, or mental health issues is befriended in order to exploit them
Hate crime reporting has been rising steadily in the past few years with a significant increase post BREXIT and recent terror events. In 2016-2017 Avon and Somerset Constabulary recorded 1,602 hate crimes for Bristol—a 12% rise on the previous year. Bristol Hate Crime Services (the precursor to Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination services) opened a record 334 cases in the same year.
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:
Treating someone with protected characteristic less favourably than others.
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.
Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services can help you in a variety of ways; from practical and emotional support to legal advice, everything we do will be guided by you and only with your consent.
Our trained professionals will:
• Help you cope with the stress, fear and possible trauma caused by hate crime and discrimination.
• Listen to you, and give you emotional support and advice as your case develops.
• Engage with you and other involved agencies to find a resolution that works for you.
• Keep you informed about the progress of your case and what other organisations are doing to help.
• Provide you with legal advice (where applicable) and support you through the criminal justice system.
• Employ techniques such as mediation to resolve disputes and ensure a good outcome for you.
• Support you in making complaints against other organisations or agencies if you feel they have let you down.
• Get you the help you need, whether it is from us or by giving you referrals to other agencies.
This service is completely free and confidential.
By reporting hate crime and discrimination:
• you will stop it getting worse
• you will stop it happening to other people
• you will help identify the offenders
• you will help make your community safer and fairer
You can report:
• as a victim
• as a witness
• anonymously (though this may limit our ability to help you)
Hate crime should always be taken seriously; no matter how low-level is may seem to be, the impact of hate motivated abuse at all levels can be extreme and long lasting.
If lower level incidents aren’t dealt with or people are allowed to get away with such offences, the situation can escalate, become more serious, and victims can give up on reporting.
Action should be taken regardless of whether the offender is under the influence of drugs or alcohol; is a child or an older person; has mental health issues or a disability: there is no excuse for hate related abuse.
If the the offender is vulnerable or there are mitigating factors, this can be taken into account when the case is investigated.
You can report hate crime and discrimination to us:
• via our 24/7 freephone on 0800 171 2272
• by visiting our contact page here
You can report hate crime to the police:
• by calling 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger
• by calling 101 if you are in a safe environment
We would also encourage you to report hate crime or discrimination to any organisation relevant to your situation, including (but not limited to):
• your housing association
• your local council
• your school, college or university
• your workplace or union