This means that if you experience street harassment, or other forms of harassment, because of your gender, perceived gender, or simply because you are a woman (misogyny), you can report it to the police if you want to, and it will be dealt with as a hate crime.
This means that ‘threatening behaviour or intending to cause someone to fear or to provoke violence’ is an offence and if you experience harassment you are protected by law. Find out more about the law here.
Not everyone wants to report to the Police but if you have experienced any form of harassment and want it to be investigated you will need to report it to the Police.
By reporting incidents when they happen to you, you may be able to prevent them from happening to someone else. You will also help the Police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it, and help to gather data on street harassment locally.
If you do choose to report to the Police there are various ways that you can do this whether it happened to you, you are a witness, or you are reporting on behalf of someone else.
The information you need is:
- Where it happened
- When it happened
- Details of any witnesses
- You can take photographs of any vehicles or people if you feel safe to and this is not illegal if a crime has been committed.
How to report harassment in an emergency
In an emergency always call 999 or 112. If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergencySMS first.
See emergencysms.org.uk for details.
How to report harassment as a hate crime
- Use the True Vision online reporting form
- Download the True Vision hate crime app onto your smart phone. (The app can give basic information about what a hate crime is and links directly to an online facility to report hate crime and incidents directly to the police force where the crime took place.)
- You can also report a crime or incident directly to Avon and Somerset Police by clicking here.
N.B: True Vision does not have an option to record a hate crime as related to ‘gender’ or ‘misogyny’ but you can use the ‘other’ category under the motivation for the incident and write ‘gender/misogyny’ here.
- If you do not want to report online, you can download and print a Self Reporting Form. As well as a general reporting form, an easy read version is available at report-it.org.uk/self_reporting_form
- Once completed, the forms can either be handed in at your local police station or posted to your local police force. Click here to find your local police station.
How to contact the Police on 101
If it is not an emergency you can speak to the local police in confidence by calling 101. To ensure that the incident is recorded correctly use the terms ‘hate crime’ and ‘gender/misogyny’ to ensure the appropriate response. You need to give information about where it happened, details of any witnesses, and if you have any photographs of vehicles or perpetrators. You do not have to give your personal details, but be aware the investigation and ability to prosecute any offenders is limited if the police cannot contact you.
How to report to the Police in person
You can report in person by visiting your local police station. Find your local station by using your postcode to search at www.police.uk
You can also report in person to any police officers or Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) that you see.
How to report to other agencies
Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI)
SARI are a local organisation supporting those experiencing hate crime. You can report by phone to their reporting line on 0800 171 2272 or on their website.
Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services (BHCDS)
BHCDS is a group of expert agencies working in collaboration to provide a comprehensive service for victims of hate crime.
Call your local victim care team in Avon and Somerset on 0300 303 1972. Lines are open 9.30am-6pm Monday to Friday, and 9.30am – 12pm on Saturdays. If you need out-of-hours support, call the Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111.
If you do not want to talk to the police or fill in reporting forms, you can still report harassment or a hate crime by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Calls are free, you do not have to give your name and what you say is confidential. You can also report using an anonymous online form: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously
Download the Toolkit leaflet
We have brought this information together in a handy leaflet – feel free to download, print and share it.