Defining Hate Crime (1)
Defining hate crime is often a slippery concept...
The ACPO (2005) make distinctions between 'hate incident' and 'hate crime':
Hate Incident: Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is percieved by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
Hate Crime: Any hate incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, percieved by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
Defining Hate Crime (2)
- Most victims are from ethnic minority groups
- Victims are less powerful politically and economically
- Victims represent some kind of threat to the prepetrator
Hate violence is motivated by social and political factors, and is bolstered by belief systems which attempt to legitimate such violence... it reveals that the person is political; that such violence is not a series of isolated incidents but rather the consequences of a political culture which allocates rights, privieges and prestige according to biological or social characteristics.
Hate crime... involves acts of violence and intimidatino, usually directed towards already stigmatized and marginalised groups... A mechanism of power and oppression.
Usefulness of Hate Crime Definitions (1)
Arguments for the usefuness:
- Provides recognition for other, new identities/status'.
- As hate crime is a fairly new concept, it provides the ability to be able to add factors to the definition, making the definition parameter more clear.
- Having a definition for hate crime empowers individuals. People who are of ethnic minorities may feel more comfortable coming forwards as there is something that can support them. Empowers socially/politically/economic excluded groups
HOW IS THIS USEFUL FOR CRITICAL CRIMINOLOGY?
Usefulness of Hate Crime Definitions (2)
- Hate crime is very subjective - perceptions of perpetrators and victims differ
- Different countries have different definitions - no wide consensus as to what hate crime is amongst jurisdictions
- Hate crime is often characterised as prejudice, hate crime is much more serious than prejudice
- Hate is an emotive word, more powerful. However hostility and prejudice is not so emotive. This therefore may mean there are potentially more serious consequences if something is categorised as 'hate crime'. In our attemps to deprive ourselves from freedom of expression, we fear we may be committing hate crime
- Seems to protect some groups and not others, focusses on racial more than other minorities
- Missing out factors such as transgender people
- Covers a wide variety of stuff- is it all really hate crime?
- 'Banter' concept - back to perceptions of what hate crime is
- Link between prejudice and causation - what is their primary motive? Hate crime or for a different reason, eg stealing from white males, not because theyre white, but because they think theyre rich.