Tackling hate crime is a priority for Warwickshire Police. They are committed to ensuring all victims have the confidence to come forward and report any incidents or crimes to the police. The Police guarantee that they will carry out a thorough investigation into every reported hate crime, aim to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure safeguarding measures are in place to look after victims and their families.
To ensure hate crimes are correctly identified the police will always ask the question: “Why do you think this happened to you”, if you perceive it is a hate crime or incident then it must be recorded as one, and they should not challenge this perception.
You can make a report by phone, online or in person.
The Police Call Centre’s first priority is to ensure your safety, and send an emergency response unit if needed. They will then conduct an initial risk assessment and ask some questions about the incident which will be logged on the Police systems.
Your account will be recorded and then sent on to the local Police who will review it and assign the most appropriate officer.
Your account will be recorded by an officer and logged on the Police systems. They will conduct an initial risk assessment and ask some questions about the incident.
If you have a mental health problem or learning disabilities, the Police will seek additional support and assistance for you during the investigative process. Similarly if you are unable to speak English or use British Sign Language, the officer will obtain the assistance of interpreters for you.
All victims of hate crime will be contacted by an investigating officer. They will keep in contact with you and keep you updated on their progress.
They will also contact your neighbourhood policing team who can provide additional support as well as liaising with other agencies (such as the Council or housing provider) on your behalf if needed.
Your investigating officer will try and get as much information as possible about the incident. This can include gathering physical evidence, CCTV or mobile phone footage, witness statements and anything that might help in the investigation.
Even if you don’t want to make a formal complaint, your investigating officer will provide you with support and explain the options that are available to you such as Restorative Justice.
You’ll also receive a Hate Crime Pack, with lots of information about local and national support agencies.
Once all the evidence has been gathered, an assessment will be made about whether the case will go to court.
In cases where no prosecution is possible, for example if there wasn’t enough evidence or the offender could not be identified, the officer will discuss any other potential options that may be open to you e.g. Restorative Justice or specialist support services.
If your case does proceed to court, you may be required to attend to give evidence at a trial. If you are called as a witness, the Witness Care Unit (WCU) will provide support services to you. Additionally, Citizens Advice provides free, independent help to witnesses in criminal courts in England and Wales. They provide practical and emotional support, information about court and legal processes, visits to courtrooms and support on the day.
It is always important to report a hate incident so that it can be recorded. It helps us build up a picture of what is going on locally and what can be done to prevent it. Sometimes hate crimes start as smaller incidents which may escalate into more serious and frequent attacks - so it's always best to act early and try to stop this progression. It can also help you access the support you may need.
Restorative justice is an alternative approach to criminal charges and can be used when the offence is seen as a personal attack against an individual or community. In restorative justice, those involved in committing the offence and their victims come together and talk about what happened in a safe, secure environment.
Restorative justice is designed to:
Give victims the opportunity to talk about how the incident has affected them
Allow offenders to understand the full impact of their actions
Enable both parties to see each other as individuals
Help victims get a sense of closure, so they feel able to move on
Ensure the offender takes responsibility for their actions
Reduce the rate of reoffending
Give the offender a way to make up for their actions
Restorative justice is voluntary, and can only happen if both the victim and the offender agree. The meeting is run by a trained restorative justice facilitator, who is there to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, and that the meeting is constructive and positive for both parties.