News Article

Support for Students - Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents

How can you tell when a crime becomes a hate crime and what should you do if you witness one?

No ratings yet. Log in to rate.
A group of students sitting in the SU space, taken through the window from the outside.

A group of students sitting in the SU space, taken through the window from the outside.

Do you know the difference between a crime and a hate crime? To some people, they may seem similar, but a person’s motivations can make a regular crime more serious. If you’ve experienced a crime, consider if the person’s behaviour was motivated by prejudice against you in any of the following ways:

  • because of your race or religion
  • because of your sexuality
  • because you are disabled
  • because you are transgender

For example, it’s a hate crime if someone assaulted you and used homophobic language. It’s still a hate crime if someone made a mistake about your identity. For example, if they attacked you because they thought you were from a different religion, but you aren’t.

The penalty for a crime is more serious if it’s a hate crime. 

If you’ve experienced something that wasn’t a crime, but you think it was motivated by prejudice against you, it’s a hate incident. For example, if someone shouted abuse at you from their car. If you experience more than one hate incident by the same person or group of people, it might count as harassment, which can be a crime. 

What you can do about a hate crime or hate incident?

You can report it the police if you have:

  • experienced a hate crime or incident.
  • seen a hate crime or incident happen to someone else.

It is worth reporting it to the police even if you don’t think it’s very serious. Sometimes small hate incidents can lead to more serious ones. If you experience more than one hate incident by the same person or group of people, it’s worth reporting every incident to the police. That said, you may prefer to deal with inapporpriate behaviour at university internally. There are formal and informal options outlined below but if you are unsure you can make an appointment with the SU Advice team and discuss the options in a safe environment. 

How to report the matter to the police

Does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon? Is someone in immediate danger? Do you need support right away? If so, please call 999 nowIf you have a hearing or speech impairment, use the textphone service 18000 or text 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

  • Report by phone - Call 101

The national, non-emergency telephone number is staffed 24/7. You can report a hate crime directly to them or simply ask them for support or advice.

  • Visit a police station

If you’d prefer to speak to an officer in person, we can provide a safe and comfortable environment at any of our police stations.

  • Report a hate crime or incident you've seen online

Each local police force will have an online reporting facility – these are accessed through their respective websites. It usually takes 15 minutes to complete the online form.

Anglia Ruskin University – Behaviour and Expectations of Students[1]

In addition to UK law relating to hate crime and hate incidents, ARU have a clearly laid out set of expectations in terms of acceptable behaviour for its students. These can be found in the document Rules, Regulations, and Procedures for Students. 

In summary:

As a student you need to:

  1. Respect and observe our rules and regulations.
  2. Co-operate in the running of the University through our academic, administrative, sporting, social or other activities.
  3. Help us to meet our legal obligations (including in respect of immigration law).
  4. Act with honesty and integrity in undertaking your studies and assessments.
  5. Respect the rights and privacy of others.
  6. Respect the University’s commitment to the freedom of speech.
  7. Respect the property of the University and that of students, employees, and visitors.
  8. Behave in an orderly manner in your academic and recreational activities on and off campus, in university accommodation, and in your daily life.
  9. Represent the University in a manner that best promotes its reputation.
  10. Take shared responsibility for your guests when on university premises and when engaging in university activities.
  11. Take appropriate action when you see others acting inappropriately, which may include bringing it to the attention of the University rather than intervening yourself.
  12. Follow the relevant standards when undertaking professional training and undertaking organised sporting activities

Any student wishing to report inappropriate behaviour experienced or witnessed at ARU should refer to the following link: Making complaints and reporting concerns (

Support for Students

Bullying, discrimination, harassment, hate crimes, sexual violence and harassment, and domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, class, or background.

Any student feeling that they have been personally subject of inappropriate behaviour whilst at ARU can access several support services and mechanisms.

These can be found at Harassment support at ARU - ARU

Counselling and Mental Health Support

The Counselling and Wellbeing Service is available to all ARU students and offers a free and confidential service to promote mental health and wellbeing. You can talk in confidence to a professional counsellor, a mental health adviser or a wellbeing adviser about any personal or university-related issues that are worrying you. This could be anything from minor concerns to major issues including grief, relationship difficulties, panic attacks, exam anxieties, stress and more. 

We offer two daily drop-in sessions that run from Monday to Friday, 11:00 to 12:00 noon with a Counsellor or Mental Health Adviser via telephone or video call and an additional term-time drop-in from 14:00 to 15:00 with a wellbeing adviser which you can pre-book onto by emailing Appointments last for 20 minutes and give you the opportunity to discuss any immediate concerns. These run remotely so we can continue to offer them twice a day with staffing on and off campus. 

Counselling and mental health support (

Student to Student Complaints

All students have the right to make a formal complaint against another student due to unacceptable behaviour if they have tried but failed to resolve things informally, or if the nature of your complaint is not appropriate to be resolved through the informal route.

The Students’ Union Advice Service can advise you on the most appropriate route for your complaint. It is important that you know the University’s procedures for student-to-student complaints.

Students are strongly encouraged to speak to the Students’ Union Advice Service before submitting a complaint.

We can help you draft your complaint and consider what evidence is appropriate to include in your complaint. What happens next?

  • An investigator will be appointed to investigate your complaint.
  • They aim to complete the investigation within 20 working days and report back to you. If they need more time, they will let you know.
  • It is important to engage fully with the complaint investigation to ensure it is resolved. You may be asked to attend meetings as part of the investigation process. The Students’ Union Advisers can attend these meetings with you for support and representation.
  • The investigator will report back their outcome to you. There are various outcomes depending on the nature of your complaint and the findings of the investigation. This may include that the student your complaint is about is subject to the Student Disciplinary process. For more information refer to: Student to Student Complaint (

The Students' Union is here to support students and improve their university experience. If you have any other questions, drop by the SU space and speak to a member of staff or book an advice appointment. 


[1] Anglia Ruskin University Rules Regulations and Procedures for Students 23rd Edition – July 2022 Rules, Regulations and Procedures for Students.pdf



Other stories...

Register to Vote

Register to vote and have your say in the upcoming ...more

SU Awards Winners
The SU Fest design features students partying on a green hill below fairy lights against a sunset ba

Celebrate the outstanding achievements of ARU stud ...more

The ARU Students' Union Gender Expression Fund
Text reading "Gender Expression Fund" above a transgender pride flag

The Union recognises the potential financial burde ...more