Hate crime and discrimination

At Keele, we have a zero tolerance to racism and discrimination, of any kind – it’s #NeverOK. This applies to all our Keele community, wherever they are – learning on our campuses or across the world.

The responsibility for driving change falls on all of us. We call on every member of the Keele community to deepen their understanding of racism and discrimination in all its forms, to be able to tackle discriminatory practices at their root. We are committed to ensuring that no student should experience any form of discrimination, and that appropriate action will be taken in cases where this behaviour is perpetrated. 

Hate Crime

Hate crime is defined as any criminal offence committed against a person or their property that is motivated by hatred of someone because of their:

  • Race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origin (including antisemitism)
  • Religion or belief
  • Gender or sexual identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability (including disability due to mental health)
  • Age

Hate crime can take many forms and can include physical attacks, damage to property, theft, offensive graffiti, threats, intimidation and bullying. A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.

A hate incident is similar to a hate crime in that it is motivated by hostility towards somone's protected characteristic, however it differs in that it doesn't meet the definition of something that would constitute a criminal offence.

For example, if someone shouts abuse at you on the street that is directed at you because of prejudice, this wouldn't necessarily be a criminal matter but would still be classed as a hate incident.

You can still report hate incidents to the police, as if you experience more than one hate incident by the same person or group of people, it might count as harassment, which could then become classed as a crime.

  • Try to get help immediately.

  • In an emergency dial 999 or 112, or contact campus security +44(0)1782 733 004

  • If possible, make as much noise as you can to alert people around you.

  • As soon as you can, go somewhere you know is safe.

  • If you have been physically attacked, don't shower or change your clothes as it may destroy evidence.

  • To ensure that it is recorded as a hate crime, tell the police why you think you were attacked.

  • If you have had your keys taken, ensure you change the locks.

  • Use other reporting systems to report the incident if you do not have the confidence to tell the police.

  • If you want to stay anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

To the University:

Please contact the Student Services Centre to report incidents of bullying and hate crime and receive advice and support about your options from an adviser. 

If you'd like to make an anonymous report to the University as a staff or student you can use the online anonymous reporting tool.

To the Students’ Union:

ASK provides independent, confidential and accessible advice and support to Keele students.

To an external support service:

You could also report Hate Crime to an organisation like Uniting Staffordshire Against Hate which aims to promote the reporting of Hate Crime in the Staffordshire area. You can report an incident by completing the form available on their website, or you can contact them by texting 'Hate' or by phone on 0330 0881 339.

To the University:

If the person who committed the hate crime is a student at Keele, you may decide you want to make a formal complaint to the University under Regulation B1: Student Discipline. Nothing will happen if you report anything to the University without your permission. Any disclosures will be kept confidential until you feel you are able to make a decision about whether to report an incident to the police, or to another appropriate authority. When the University receives a formal complaint, an investigation is conducted, during which all relevant and available evidence will be collected.

You will be asked to submit a Serious Incident Statement and to take part in an interview with the investigating officer; your adviser can support you both before and during the interview. If you are concerned about coming into contact with the accused student, temporary measures can be put in place to reduce that risk.

If your case is being investigated by the police, the University will be required to suspend its investigation until that process has been completed. However, temporary measures can be put in place while the police conduct their investigation.

There is more information about student discipline procedures available here, or you can speak to the your adviser before making your final decision.

To the Police:

If you report that you are a victim of hate crime which involves violence then this is a serious incident which can only be investigated by the police. 

Once you’ve reported a crime to the police you should hear from Victim Support. They help with practical things such as broken locks or can simply provide someone to talk to. It’s their job to support you while the case is ongoing and they’ll be able to answer any questions you have, as well as provide you with updates on how the case is progressing.

To an external support service:

You can make reports to external services anonymously or choose to disclose your identify. The primary purpose of external services is to receive support rather than make a formal report, and the organisation will not usually tell you that you have to report to the police, unless there are safeguarding concerns.

There are many ways that you can help others by being an active bystander. This means that you intervene to support another person, if it's safe to do so, rather than simply walking on by. Here are some ways that you can help:

  • Call 999 or 112 and tell the police know what you've seen. Don't assume others will come forward. Many crucial witnesses walk away thinking someone else will report it.
  • Stay alert and assess for safety before intervening.
  • If it is safe to do so, take a photograph or video on your mobile phone. Remember, however, that the police are likely to need your phone as evidence.
  • Record details of times, number plates, descriptions and so on. If you don't have a pen with you, leave a voicemail message on your mobile phone or write a draft text message. As soon as you can find a pen and paper, write down the information in as much detail as possible.
  • Contact a person in a position of authority, such as Security if you are on campus or a staff member.
  • Speak out if you hear something that is unacceptable.
  • Be supportive to a victim.
  • If you want to stay anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Useful contacts

There is support available at Keele to support students who have been a victim of hate crime. Please contact the Student Services Centre for more information. 

There are also a number of external organisations who can offer more specialist support for anyone who has been a victim of hate crime: