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Racial and Religious Hate Crime


What is it?

Something is a racist or religious hate incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on race or religion.

Hate incidents could be carried out by lots of different people including strangers, a carer, a neighbour, a professional or someone you consider a friend. It can be a one-off incident or part of an ongoing campaign of harassment or intimidation.

This means that if you believe something is a hate incident, it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to.

Examples can include:

  • verbal and physical abuse
  • bullying
  • threatening behaviour
  • online abuse
  • damage to property.


Who is at risk?

Anyone can be the victim of a racist or religious hate incident and you may be targeted because of your race, colour, nationality, ethnic, origin, or part of or perceived to be part of a religious group.

This includes:

  • Gypsies and Travellers
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • People who share the same religious belief such as Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs and Christians.
  • People with no religious belief at all.


Who needs to take action?

All professionals have a responsibility to recognise racial and religious harassment. Failure to protect a child from racism or religious harassment (whether it originates from within or outside of the family) or take action when racism or religious harassment is being alleged is likely to undermine all other efforts being made to safeguard or promote the welfare of the child.

Cultural awareness training needs to be ongoing for professionals and should include and reflect an awareness of new and settled community groups in the area.

It is vital that a suitably qualified, trained, neutral, gender-appropriate translation or interpretation services are used when working with children and families whose preferred language is not English.

Racism and racial harassment may involve an allegation of crime e.g. assault and harassment and should be reported to the police at the earliest opportunity.

Where significant harm is suspected, a referral should be made to Children’s Social Care.

Children's Social Care and the police must respond effectively when incidents of racial or religious harassment and attacks place a child at risk of significant harm. Where a child has been racially victimised by social housing tenants, the council / responsible housing association must take all legal steps to remove the perpetrators, rather than the victims (unless the victim wishes to be moved).


What is the impact?

Effects of racism / religious harassment vary amongst communities and individuals, and should not be assumed to be uniform.

Families may suffer religious and/or racial harassment sufficient in frequency and seriousness to undermine parenting capacity. In responding to concerns about children in the family, full account needs to be taken of this context and every reasonable effort made to end the harassment.

Experience of racism and religious harassment is likely to impact on emotional and physical wellbeing of the child and also how the child and family behave, in particular in response to assessment and enquiry processes.

Care must be taken to avoid perpetuating racism through institutional use of discriminatory practices. Any enquiries or investigations should be handled sensitively, taking account of possible cultural issues in relation to gender and sexuality. For example, consideration should be given to the gender of the social worker and police officer taking account of the cause for concern, the cultural background of the child, their gender and any other relevant issues.


Who can help?

Local agencies:

Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board:  https://www.tsab.org.uk/key-information/general-public/discriminatory-abuse/

Cleveland Police: Call 101 or go to https://www.cleveland.police.uk/

Children’s Services

Office hour

Out of hours



01429 284284

01642 130080

01642 524552



01642 726004

01642 524552


Redcar & Cleveland

01642 130700

01642 524552



01642 130080


01642 524552


North Yorkshire





03000 267979

03000 267979



01325 406252

01642 524552

PLEASE NOTE: This email address is for out of hours only and should only be used if contact cannot be made by telephone:



National agencies:

Citizen’s Advice Bureau: Call advice line: 03444 111 444 or go to https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/


Other agencies:

  • For more information on anti-Muslim hate crime see the Tell MAMA website, at www.tellmamauk.org
  • For more information on anti-Semitic hate crime see the CST website at, www.thecst.org.uk