Hate Crime

What is Hate Crime?

Ayrshire College condemns hate crime in all its forms and is committed to being a safe and inclusive place.  Any acts motivated by prejudice or hate against a person because of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity is unacceptable.  This is a community that thrives on respect and lives its Values of Respectful, Open and Honest, and Supportive 

Nobody should have to live with the fear and anxiety that hate crime can cause. Report it.  

Hate crime versus hate incident: what is the difference?

'Hate incidents' and 'hate crimes' are terms used to describe acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.  They are motivated by hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity, or sexual orientation. This can be an incident against a person or against property and includes materials posted online.

Some examples of hate incidents include:

  • verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes
  • harassment
  • bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers
  • physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
  • threats of violence
  • hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail
  • online abuse, for example on Facebook or Twitter
  • displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters
  • harm or damage to things such as your home, pet, or vehicle
  • graffiti
  • arson
  • throwing rubbish into a garden
  • malicious complaints, for example over parking, smells or noise

When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. A criminal offence is something that breaks the law and can include:

  • assault(s)
  • criminal damage
  • harassment
  • murder
  • sexual assault
  • theft
  • fraud
  • burglary
  • hate mail
  • harassment

Further information:

One Scotland

Hate crime - Police Scotland 

From PC Claire Bysouth, Ayrshire College Police Liaison Officer:
“Hate crime takes many forms and can be verbal or physical. It has hugely damaging effects on victims, their families and communities, and we all must play our part to challenge it. 
Ayrshire College is also a Third Party Reporting Centre where students and staff can report hate crime in a safe and familiar environment.
Police Scotland takes hate crime very seriously and will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice. We are committed to dealing with hate crime and thoroughly investigate all reports made to us.   

As the Police Liaison Officer at Ayrshire College,  I am committed to raising awareness of hate crime and its effects as well as continuing to provide the appropriate support and guidance."


Information and support

If you are in danger and need immediate help, you can: 

  • call 999 and ask to speak to the Police  
  • if deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired: text (SMS) 999 (emergency), contact BSL, or text 18001 (non-emergency)
  • if you are on campus, you can seek assistance from the Reception Desk which is typically located near the entrance or in the middle of each main campus building 

Good to know:

  •  you can report hate crime at any local police station
  • sometimes victims or witnesses of hate crime do not feel comfortable reporting the incident to the police. They might be more comfortable reporting it to someone they know.  Police Scotland works in partnership with a number of organisations and groups, to take reports, known as Third Party Reporting centres.  Ayrshire College is a Third Party Reporting centre.  This means, we have a number of staff who are trained and can support you to submit a report to Police Scotland.  More information here: Report Hate Crime to Police Scotland - Police Scotland 
  • Ayrshire College is working towards becoming a registered Keep Safe place for those who have a disability and are requiring a safe location as a result of being targeted because of their disability.  More information here: About Keep Safe (iammescotland.co.uk) 

Hate crime can feel like a very personal attack on you.  Sometimes, we don't even recognise it has happened to us or we dismiss it as something to be ignored.   You can use Report + Support to access support from the College or anonymously let us know that there is a potential issue here.  

Information and support:

My Story - One Scotland
Hate Crime Scotland | Working in Partnership for a safer Scotland
Disability Hate Crime - Police Scotland
Stonewall Scotland | Hate Crime
Home - Victim Support Scotland
Hate crime - Police Scotland
LGBT Youth Scotland | LGBT Youth Scotland

I’ve seen something that I think is a hate crime, what should I do?

If you have seen something that you think is a hate crime or know someone who is experiencing it, tell us or report it to Police Scotland.  

What can you do?

A key reason Ayrshire College has Report and Support is to enable us to be a safe and inclusive college community.  Words or actions that might be dressed up as 'only banter' may in fact be deliberate acts motivated by hate or prejudice.   

Report it

  • You can report it through Report and Support or in another way such as contacting Student Services (Students), Human Resources (Staff) or PC Claire Bysouth, Police Liaison Officer


Talk it out

  •  If someone you know has been affected, you can encourage them to seek support.  Taking time to listen might be just enough to reassure them that you believe them.   Allow them to think through their options and give them the space to decide what is best for them


Take care of yourself 

  • We are here for you too and you can access support from the College also. You aren't in this alone. 

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