What is a disability hate crime?

Sometimes, people can be cruel because of the way you look, the beliefs you have, or the way you live your life. Sometimes this can lead to you becoming a victim of abuse, whether verbal or physical.

If you do feel you’re being targeted because of these reasons, you might find you’re a victim of a hate incident or a hate crime, something the police take very seriously.

If you are worried about hate crime try to speak to someone you trust such as a teacher, parent, carer or friend.

A hate crime is any criminal offence that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victim's disability or perceived disability. It can take many forms:


  • physical attacks such as assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti and arson
  • threat of attack including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, intimidation and unfounded, malicious complaints
  • verbal abuse, insults or harassment - taunting, offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace.

How to report disability hate crime  

Hate crimes and incidents can be very frightening and upsetting. By reporting a hate crime, you can get the help and support you need and prevent it from happening to other people.

There are a number of ways you can report it, whether you have been the victim or have seen it happen to a friend or someone else:


  • Call the police on 101.
  • Contact Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555111.
  • If you are in danger and feel threatened always call 999.

Third party reporting

Many people worry about becoming involved in investigations. Third party reporting centres can give you support and advice. They can also report the incident anonymously to the Police for you.

Disability hate crime resources

Call our free helpline


How useful is this page?