Has your friend been a victim of hate crime?
If a friend of yours has been, or is repeatedly being the victim of hate crime, you're obviously a good friend and want to help.
Give them support
You need to try and get them to talk about it - but they may find it hard to talk about or feel embarrassed. That's understandable. Also, if you have a different background to their own they might think that you could never understand what they're going through. The most important thing is to just be there for them and listen.
What they're experiencing might be linked to bullying. If you think that's the case then take a look at our section on bullying. Either get the facts about bullying, or for more info on how you can actually help your friend visit Are you worried your friend is being bullied?
The next thing to do is to encourage your friend to talk to someone else about it. This can be worrying for them, so don't push too hard. But they should:
- talk to their parents or another family member
- talk to their teacher or another responsible adult
- contact ChildLine in confidence to talk to a professional who can offer help and advice
- or chat online to a CyberMentor (see below for more details)
If they are prepared to take things further they should report it as a crime:
- They could contact their local police station or speak to their Safer Schools Officer or Safer Neighbourhoods Team - if it's an emergency they should call 999.
- If they feel unable to talk to the police they could contact the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111 (they won't have to give their name and their call will not be traced).
- Or for more information visit the Reporting crime section on the Metropolitan Police website or the How to contact us page on this site.
You can also report some hate crimes to non-police organisations such as those listed below. For more information visit our More help and advice page.
You can also talk to us yourself or ask someone else to speak to us on your friend's behalf such as another friend or a relative, a community leader or even a solicitor. Someone from the local authority, housing association or advice bureau might also be prepared to speak to us on behalf of you or your friend. The most important thing is that you speak to someone.
Our Community Safety Units
The Metropolitan Police Service has made it a high priority to tackle hate crimes in all its forms with specialist Community Safety Units located in each of our 32 boroughs. We investigate all hate crime, even in cases where there is only a small amount of information or when a victim has not reported it themselves. And we record all incidents brought to our attention whether or not a crime has been committed.
Getting more help
If your friend's not ready to talk to someone they know, or they want more advice, encourage them to look online or call for more help. Visit our More help and advice page. They could also try the following:
ChildLine is the free helpline for children and young people in the UK, Children and young people can call 0800 1111 to talk about any problem.
CyberMentors is all about young people helping and supporting each other online.
If you're being bullied or are troubled by something, CyberMentors is where you can go for help.