Reporting hate crimes?
It's a good idea to report hate crimes to the police, because it is important for an official police report (proces-verbaal) to be drawn up. That makes it possible for the legal system to be set in motion. In addition, you can also contact Unia for legal assistance.
Important information for filing a police report:
- Were you specifically targeted because of a protected characteristic, such as your skin colour, religion, sexual orientation,…? Then ask the police to explicitly state this in the official police report (proces-verbaal or PV).
- Give as much detailed information as possible:
- What exactly happened?
- Where and when?
- What was said?
- Do you remember the exact words that were used?
- Are there witnesses?
- Also, be sure to have a medical certificate drawn up by a doctor if you have sustained physical or psychological injuries.
- Always ask for a copy of the PV and have yourself listed as an injured party. This way, you will be notified of the final ruling in the case.
You should also definitely report it to Unia.
We inform and assist victims and their families.
Moreover, we can also act as civil party (in addition to the person reporting the crime) in the lawsuit. We will then make sure that the ‘hate crime’ aspect is taken into account in the investigation, with specific attention for the circumstances before and during the crime: the perpetrator’s own statements, the nature of the act, elements from the perpetrator’s past, …