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Hate incidents and hate crimes

If you or someone you know has experienced a hate crime or hate incident, you do not have to cope alone. Support is available at the University and by external support services.

As defined by the Crown Prosecution Service, something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:

  • disability
  • race
  • religion
  • transgender identity
  • sexual orientation

Anyone can be the victim of a hate incident, whether or not you identify with the group that was targeted in the incident. For example, you may have been targeted because someone thought you identify as gay even though you do not, or because you have a family member/child with a disability.

Hate incidents can take many forms – none of which are tolerated at St Mary’s. Some examples of hate incidents include, but are not limited to (as shared by Citizens Advice):

  • verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes
  • harassment
  • bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers
  • physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
  • threats of violence
  • hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail
  • online abuse for example on Facebook or Twitter
  • displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters
  • harm or damage to things such as your home, pet, vehicle
  • graffiti
  • arson
  • throwing rubbish into a garden
  • malicious complaints for example over parking, smells or noise

What is a Hate Crime?

When hate incidents become criminal offenses they are also known as hate crime. Any criminal offence can be a hate crime if it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation. When something is classed as a hate crime, the judge can impose a tougher sentence on the offender under the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Hate crimes can take many forms – all of which are against the law and none of which are tolerated at St Mary’s. Some examples of hate crimes include, but are not limited to (as shared by Citizens Advice):

  • assaults
  • criminal damage
  • harassment
  • sexual assault
  • theft
  • fraud
  • burglary
  • hate mail (Malicious Communications Act 1988)
  • causing harassment, alarm or distress (Public Order Act 1986)

If you think you have been a victim of a hate incident and/or hate crime, it may be difficult to navigate what to do or how to feel. That’s okay. What happened was not your fault, you’re not alone, and what you do next is entirely up to you.

⚠ is it an emergency?

  • Is someone in immediate danger?
  • Is a crime taking place or has one just happened?
  • If so, call 999 now and ask for the police.

For incidences on campus you can also call Security on 0208 240 4060 (emergency) or 0208 240 4335 (non-emergency). St Mary’s Security Team provides 24 hour security to ensure the safety and security of students, staff and the campus environment.

Internal support

Employee Assistance Programme

If you would like to seek support without making a formal complaint, you may reach out to the University’s free and confidential Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – available 24/7. This service is available to all St Mary’s employees and their immediate family members.

EAP Helpline numbers

  • UK: 0800 358 48 58 (free from a landline) or 0330 332 9980 (uses mobile contract minutes)
  • International: +44 141 271 7179

Mental Health First Aiders

Employees are also encouraged to contact one of St Mary’s trained Mental Health First Aiders for a confidential source of initial support and signposting to appropriate help if required.

These support services are also available for staff members who decide to report an incident to the university.

External support

We understand that sometimes people feel more comfortable accessing services which specialise in supporting those from particular communities, cultures, or require certain adjustments in order to support their own personal needs. Our Community Support page provides a wealth of external resources for specific communities and issue-specific expertise.