Many people aren’t aware, but Citizens Advice Gateshead is a Hate Crime Reporting Centre. This means we can report a hate crime on your behalf if you don’t feel like going to the police directly. Hate crimes have sadly been on the rise since the Brexit Referendum two years ago. In response to this worrying trend, we’re focusing this week’s blog on hate crime in our community.

A hate crime is a crime which is motivated by prejudice relating to disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. Hate crimes can range from threatening behaviour to assault. They’re a particularly insidious type of crime as they can leave deep psychological scars upon victims.

Around 80% of hate crimes relate to a victim’s race and its estimated that around a third of transgender people in the UK were victims of a hate crime last year. The Chronicle reported in February that Anti-Semitic incidents in Gateshead had doubled over the course of the last year, showing that our community is not immune to the effects of hatred.

No hate incident is too small not to report; someone does not have to physically assault you to commit a hate crime. You can also report any hate incident that you witness by calling 999, even if you’re not the victim of the hate crime.