Hate and harassment

Hate crime is defined as any incident that's seen by the victim (or any other person) as being motivated by prejudice or hate towards their actual or perceived social identity.

Social identities include:

  • disability
  • gender identity
  • race, ethnicity or nationality
  • religion, faith or belief
  • sexual orientation

Hate and harassment can take the form of criminal or non-criminal behaviour, and can include:

  • verbal abuse
  • threatening behaviour
  • damage to property
  • physical assault
  • offensive graffiti
  • offensive comments or images on social media or text messages

Report hate and harassment

Reporting hate and harassment will stop it happening again to you or your family, or to other people. It also sends a strong message to perpetrators, and would-be perpetrators, that this type of behaviour won't be tolerated.  

By reporting every incident, no matter how minor, we can make sure that they don't turn into something much bigger. You can report an incident without giving your name, although this might make it more difficult to investigate.  

If you're a victim of hate and harassment, or you witness an incident, there are several ways to report it:

  • fill in our short reporting form
  • text 61009 starting with the word HATE and a short message saying what help you need
  • email safer@barnsley.gov.uk with the word HATE in the subject line
  • call 773555 (Barnsley Council) or 101 (police)
  • in person at any council building, such as a library
  • in an emergency call 999 and ask for the Police

What  happens next

We'll contact you to talk about what we can do to make you feel safer. We usually do this within one working day. We may ask our liaison officers or victim support to talk to you.

We'll investigate the incident so we can take appropriate action against the perpetrator. This could include prosecution, restorative justice, enforcement action by Berneslai Homes, or a warning.