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What is sexual orientation hate crime?

Sexual Orientation hate crimes and non-crime incidents are acts which target a victim because of the offender's hostility.

Any incident or crime which is perceived by the victim to be motivated by hostility to people based on their sexual orientation will be recorded as such. If the offender is to have a sentence enhanced by the court, then prosecutors must provide evidence to prove that, but such proof is not required for recording purposes.

Hate crimes can be committed against a person or property.

A sexual orientation hate crime could target someone who is not themselves from the targeted group and the harmed person could be, for example, the child of a same-sex couple or someone mistaken as having a particular sexual orientation, so long as the offender was motivated, wholly or partially, by a hostility to that sexual orientation.

You can also see our definition of hate crime on the Hate Crime Data page of this website.

How can I report an incident?

Details on how to report an incident and what you can report is available on the 'Report a hate crime' page. You can complete the online form on the 'Reporting online' page.

You may also be able to report incidents through the organisations listed on this website on the 'Organisations that can help' page.

By reporting it, you may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else.

Reporting makes a difference... to you, your friends, your community and your life.


How will the police and CPS treat sexual orientation hate crime?

The police and other criminal justice agencies consider all hate crime to be very serious, including sexual orientation hate crime. When a case is prosecuted, the courts can impose a stronger sentence under powers from Section 66 of the Sentencing Act 2020. This reflects the priority placed on these crimes.

The Police have performance targets and measures in place to ensure the service they offer is of the highest standard.

The Crown Prosecution Service is the organisation that takes cases through the court system. They have produced guidance on Homophobic and Transphobic Hate Crime that is available on the 'Prosecuting hate crimes' page of this website .



Our partners Galop are a charity that exist to protect LGBT+ victims and to help organisations like the police to improve their services. They have produced a range of services which may be of interest including;

Report a sexual orientation hate crime >>