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Hate incidents and hate crime

A hate incident is any incident that is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a persons perceived:

  • race
  • religion or belief
  • gender identity
  • sexual orientation
  • disability

Hate incidents can take many forms including:

  • name calling
  • arson (fire)
  • spitting
  • verbal abuse and harassment
  • graffiti
  • attacks or violence
  • damage to property or belongings (such as your car or home)
  • threats and intimidation
  • psychological and emotional violence
  • abusive telephone calls
  • offensive literature (such as letters, emails, leaflets and posters).

When hate incidents are criminal offences they are known as hate crimes.

Report it

All hate incidents are unacceptable and no incident should go unreported. Many victims do not report their experience because they are scared, worried about not being believed, or think that there is nothing that can be done.

By reporting incidents you help us to understand and respond to hate crime in the borough. Your report can help us find out where things happen and how they happen. We can then help you and others. There are a number of ways to report hate crime, either directly to the police or through a third party.


You can report incidents to the police directly:

Other ways to report

The organisations and services below offer ways to report the incident without having to talk directly to the police.

  • True Vision provides information about hate crime or incidents and how to report it. It is police funded, and allows you to submit a report to your local police force.
  • The Self Evident app from Witness Confident allows you to report a crime and capture evidence at the same time. You can take videos, pictures and record audio, and have it all kept in one place.
  • Crimestoppers is a national organisation that allows victims or anyone with any information about crime to report it anonymously.

Third party reporting centres

Merton's 'third party reporting centres' have been trained to assist you in submitting a report to the police, and can make such a report your behalf.

Safer Merton Third Party Reporting Protocol

Support services

Advice surgeries

Our advice surgeries are a safe space to discuss hate crime and how to report it anonymously. Members of the public can get free advice with no appointment necessary.

When: Surgeries are now being held over the phone on the second Tuesday of every month, midday to 1pm. Call 020 8545 4146

Hate Crime Strategy

Our Hate Crime Strategy sets out our commitment to tackling perpetrators of hate crime and identifies how we will support our victims.

Contact us

Safer Merton
Merton Council
Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 4146