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Hate crime

Information about hate crime and how to report it.

What is a hate crime or incident?

This is an act of victimisation that you feel was targeted directly towards you because of who you are or who you are perceived to be.

The term 'hate crime' can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator (a person who carries out the act) is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

This includes, but is not limited to physical and verbal abuse, threatening behaviour or harassment or damage to your property. It can also include being treated as if you are stupid, talked down to, being ignored, avoided, stared at or being rudely treated because of who you are or who you are perceived to be.

For more information:

Waltham Forest has No Space for Hate

We want Waltham Forest to be a place where everybody feels safe and welcome and where residents are empowered to help make Waltham Forest a better place to live.

Below you will find details of how we’re working in partnership with the community to tackle all forms of discrimination and hatred through our No Space for Hate programme. There are several ways that everyone can get involved and play their part in challenging hate and supporting victims.

No Space for Hate: Pledge your support

Waltham Forest is a diverse and vibrant borough. However, with hate incidents on the rise not just here but across London there is a positive role we can all play to stop this and ensure that Waltham Forest is an equally safe and welcoming place for everyone.

Your pledge is one way that our Waltham Forest communities (residents, businesses, and institutions) can come together to show that we have no space for hate and are committed to building community solidarity to stop hate:

  • I/We pledge to stand up against hate or hostility directed towards anyone because of who they are perceived to be and will challenge prejudice and discrimination.
  • I/We pledge to support victims by promoting inclusion and ensuring their voices are heard.
  • I/We pledge to support and enable victims of hate to report it and access support if they choose to do so.

Bystander Intervention training

A key part of building solidarity against hate is empowering members of the community to recognise how to spot bullying, harassment, or hostility and provide the tools to safely diffuse these situations and provide support to people who have been affected.

Communities Inc, specialists in empowering communities, have been working with the Council to deliver Bystander Intervention training to over 250 residents, 61 of whom are No Space for Hate Ambassadors. Our No Space for Hate Ambassadors have been trained to deliver Bystander Intervention training throughout Waltham Forest.

Through our No Space for Hate Ambassador Network and Communities Inc, the following Bystander Intervention training are available:

  • Bystander Intervention training: Learn how to recognise hate, safely diffuse harmful situations, and provide help and support to those affected. These will be delivered online in the coming months.
  • Stop street-based harassment: Training specifically designed for men who want to proactively stop street-based sexual harassment and be allies for women. 

Express your interest in taking part in the training

Report hate

Whether you’re a victim, witness, or are reporting for someone else, it’s important to report hate incidents and crimes. By reporting it you become part of a movement to stop it.

Reporting incidents of perceived prejudice that aren’t criminal offenses will help to build an understanding of what is happening in the local area, which helps the Police, Council and partners to understand patterns of behaviour, informing how institutions can tackle it in future.

Report the incident to the police

  • In an emergency always contact 999. You can also call 101 in a non-emergency
  • Visit the Stop hate crime website to make a police report

Report the incident to the Council through Stop Hate UK

You can speak confidentially to Stop Hate UK 24 hours a day seven days a week to report a hate crime or incident:

  • Call Stop Hate UK free on 0800 138 1625
  • Text ‘Stop Hate UK’ to 07717 989 025
  • Report online using the Stop hate UK website 
  • Relay for those with a hearing impairment 18001 0800 138 1625
  • Report in BSL using InterpreterNow (username: stophate and password: stophate)

Stop Hate UK also provide confidential help people who have experienced or been victims of hate to access support. Nobody should suffer alone. Stop Hate UK have over 25 years of experience helping victims.

Stopping hate online

We know that lots of local groups are hosting community events on Zoom. There are things that organisers can do to ensure that the meeting is not interrupted by bad actors. Here are ten tips on how to make your calls as secure as possible:

10 Ways to Secure Your Zoom from Hate 

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10 Ways to Secure Your Zoom from Hate (written version)

  1. Use a unique ID for large or public Zoom calls: When you schedule a Zoom meeting, look for the Meeting ID options and choose ‘Generate Automatically.’ Doing so plugs one of the biggest gaps bad actors can exploit
  2. Require a meeting password: You can give the password out only to those who have replied and seem credible. To password-protect a meeting, start by scheduling a meeting and checking the box next to ‘require meeting password’.
  3. Create a waiting room: When participants log into the call, they see a Waiting Room screen
  4. Only the Hosts Should Share Their Screen: Make sure your settings indicate that the only people allowed to share their screens are hosts. You can enable this setting in advance as well as during a call.
  5. Create an Invite-Only Meeting: Only people who can join the call are those you invited, and they must sign in using the same email address you used to invite them
  6. Lock a Meeting Once it Starts: While the meeting is running, navigate to the bottom of the screen and click Manage Participants. The Participants panel will open. At the bottom, choose More > Lock Meeting
  7. Kick Someone Out or Put Them on Hold: During the call, go to the participants' pane on the right. Hover over the name of the person you want to boot out and when options appear, choose remove’
  8. Disable Someone’s Camera: If someone is being rude or inappropriate on video, the host can open the Participants panel and click on the video camera icon next to the person’s name
  9. Prevent Animated Gifs and Other Files in the Chat: In the chat area of a Zoom meeting, participants can share files, including images and animated GIFs – if you let them
  10. Disable Private Chat: Open Settings in the Zoom web app (it’s not in the desktop app). On the left side, go to Personal > Settings. Then click in Meeting (Basic). Scroll until you see Privacy chat. When the button is grey, it’s disabled.

Community Safety

Our community safety webpages provide more information on other community safety issues in Waltham Forest, and details of the services that are available to help combat these.

Community Support

There are several local and national organisations that support residents, ensuring they access the services they need to recover from hate incidences. You can contact Stop Hate UK for free on 0800 138 1625 for assistance in accessing community support.

Stop Hate UK

Stop Hate UK website

East London Out Project

56-60 Grove Road
Walthamstow E17 9BN
020 8509 3898

East London Out Project Website

Stay Safe East

Resource Centre (South)
90 Crownfield Road
Leytonstone E15 2BG
020 8519 7241

Stay Safe East Website

Tell MAMA

Migrant Support Centre
434 Forest Road
Walthamstow E17 4PY

Helpline 0800 456 1226
WhatsApp 0734 184 6086

Tell MAMA Website

Islamophobia Response Unit (IRU)

IRU online reporting form

Email: iru@mend.org.uk
Phone: 020 3904 6555

London Victim Support

Freephone: 0808 168 9291 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on Saturday)

London Victim Support Website

Gypsy, Roma, Traveller

GRT report racism

Citizens Assembly Recommendations

Over the course of five days in February and March 2020, a representative 45-member panel considered how we can work together to ensure everyone feels equally welcome and safe in Waltham Forest through a Citizens Assembly. A Citizens Assembly is a way of bringing residents closer to the decisions we make so they have more of a say over them.

If you would like to learn more about the Citizens Assembly:

It is through the No Space for Hate programme that the Council is bringing the recommendations to life.