Citizens Advice

Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole Tackling Hate Crime

You Report, We Support.

 03444 111 444

(same cost as a 01202 call)



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Video on how the Police, the CPS can support victims of hate crime


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This page is to provide you with the resources, advice and guidance on how to tackle hate crime and prejudice.

Information about:

What is a Hate Crime?

What is a Hate Crime?

The term ‘hate crime’ can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards a victim. This could be because of:

  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Transgender Identity

Hate Crime can include:

  • Property damage
  • Graffiti targeted at you
  • Threats
  • Assault
  • Verbal abuse
  • Online abuse
  • Harassment

It can be a single incident or a series of incidents.

What is a Hate Incident?

Hate incident is an act of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.

For example, you may have been verbally abused by someone in the street because you’re disabled or because someone thought you were gay.

Also, a hate incident can also be where a victim or anyone else thinks it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:

    • Disability
    • Race
    • Religion
    • Sexual Orientation
    • Transgender Identity

Examples could be:

Playing loud music at night in order to force someone to move out;

Blocking a Wheelchair user’s path so that they can’t get past;


What can we offer as support?

What can we offer as support?

Our trained advisers and caseworker can help you to cope with the emotional effects of being a victim of hate crime. The type of support we provide includes:

  • Someone to talk to in confidence about what has happened
  • Help with any questions you have in relation to the incident or what your options are
  • Giving you information about the police and court procedures
  • Support you and other members of your family
  • Helping you get in touch with other organisations that can help if there are problems we can’t deal with
  • Giving you advice on safety and home security
  • Helping parents to support children effectively if they are affected by the incident

How to report

How to report

We will support you whether you report the crime or not. We understand that some people may not want to report hate crime to the police and that’s okay.

However if you did want to report you can do so in the following ways:

  • You can contact us directly on 03444 111 444 (same cost as a 01202 call) to speak to an adviser;
  • Direct reporting to the police;
  • You can also report via the Prejudice Free Dorset;
  • Anonymous reporting on the internet or through the post (

If you do report the crime and the offender is tried and convicted, courts can take their hate motivation into account during sentencing. This means a stronger sentence could be imposed.

Citizens Advice Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole can provide you with further information regarding reporting and support you to do this.

What happens after an incident?

What happens after an incident?

  1. Written, audio or video evidence will be very useful and can help when it comes to completing your report as it will give us more information and better help us support you.
  2. You can report the incident wherever you feel comfortable; it doesn’t have to be at a Police station. Please ask for support from friends or relatives if you do not want to report alone.
  3. We will advise you on who best to contact next. This could be the Police or another support organisation. We want you to feel fully supported throughout the process.
  4. It might be necessary to re-examine anything related to the incident to get the best outcome for you. This can be an emotional and timely process and may require patience on your behalf.
  5. Unless there is immediate danger, contact from the Police may not be made straight away. This does not mean you are ignored. All reports will be considered and monitored. If you have not heard from the Police within 7 days you should contact them directly.
  6. With your consent, the reporting and support centre could refer you to other local groups if you need extra support.
  7. In some circumstances, the Police or the courts may not be able to take further action, but the incident will still be logged and Citizens Advice can still advice you on other options to take.

Support Organisations

Support Organisations

Prejudice Free Dorset:
A partnership organisation that seeks to promote inclusive communities across Dorset. There is a clear message that hate crime will never be tolerated and victims will be supported.

Dorset Race Equality Council (Race and Religion):
Promotes racial equality and tackles racial discrimination

Call: 01202 392 954


Victim Support:
Free and confidential support to help people deal with being a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour whether they report it to the police or not.
Call: 0300 3030 163

Visit Victim Support

Access Dorset (Disability): 
a charity providing advice and support for all those who are disabled or suffering from an impairment or their carers. Link to Community Safety Advice.
Contact: David Thompson
Call: 01202 771 336

People First Forum (Learning Disabilities)
A charity run for and by people with learning disabilities. They help each other speak up, lead change and provide services to local organisations.
Contact: Amanda Parsons
Call: 01202 303 765
Visit People First Forum

LGB&T Dorset Equality Network

The Network was created and exists to support communities and especially lesbian gay bisexual and trans’ individuals who are voiceless, face daily dis-empowerment, vulnerability and isolation, and in particular discrimination, prejudice and hate crime.

The network is a Third Party Hate Crime Reporting Centre with Prejudice Free Dorset and Dorset Police. Please visit their Report & Share page

Over the Rainbow (LGBT):
Drop in service for advice, support and information for the LGBT community of Dorset and visitors/holiday makers to the county.
Call: 01202 257 478

Visit Over the Rainbow (LGBT)


SPACE Youth Project (LGBT):

Safe place for anyone up to 25 years old to get to know each other and feel good about being themselves.
Call: 07973 405 280

Contact: Helen Walsh via email at

Chrysalis (LGBT):
Meeting centres for transitioning transgender (transsexual) adults that provide counselling, support and life skills.
Call: 01489 589 111


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