Questions and Comments > Reporting a Hate Crime
Reporting a Hate Crime
We at UCPD and at the University Of California, Berkeley take hate crime very seriously and encourage members of all communities to report incidents to the police. Even if the incident does not amount to a crime the police will still record and investigate it.
A hate crime is where you become a victim of any crime or prejudice because of your race, faith, age, sexual orientation, gender or because you have a disability. You do not have to prove that the incident or crime was motivated by prejudice, if you or any other person believes that it was then it will be dealt with as a hate crime.
Because of the nature of hate crime, victims often find it difficult to report it to the police and in many cases criminals take advantage of this fact thinking that they commit crime and it won’t be reported. Consequently we believe you should be aware of a number of options that we hope will make it easier for you to report hate crime to the police.
It is also important to remember that some of the options allow you to report anonymously and we would encourage you to do that in any event. The more information we have about hate crime, the greater the opportunities we have to tackle it most effectively.
No matter who we talk to, whatever you or anyone else tells us about what happened to you will be treated confidentially, sensitively and appropriately.
If you are a victim of, or a witness to a hate crime, report it immediately to UCPD at (510) 642-6760. Be sure to indicate it is a hate-motivated incident and provide case officer with information that will support the classification.
You may also report any non-emergency crime to UCPD anonymously via CalTip.
Other reporting options
The following are ways that you can report hate crime to the police:
If you become a victim of or witness to a hate crime, it is important that you report it immediately. We recommend calling UCPD at (510) 642-6760. When reporting the incident, be sure to indicate that the crime is hate-motivated and provide the case officer with information that will support the classification. As with any Emergency, if a crime is occurring, call 911 from any phone, or dial 510-642-3333 from a cell phone near campus to reach dispatch directly. To make a non-emergency report of an ongoing crime, or crime occurring in the past, use CalTip, our online reporting form.
(See Related Links for more about How to Report Crime.)
Other reporting options
You may also report a hate crime specifically, by contacting the Hate Crimes task force at the Gender Equity Resource Center, (510) 642-4786, or use the online reporting form provided at geneq.berkeley.edu/hate_crimes or stophate.berkeley.edu. The Office of the President, Campus Climate also accepts hate crime reports at their Campus Climate page. You may report anonymously there, but will need to establish an online password that verifies your report is made in good faith.
Specific guidelines for hate crime determination are as follows:
The hate crime must involve a specific target, such as a person or individual residence, house of worship, religious, ethnic, or gender-based organization, or business.
Graffiti must be racial, ethnic, gender-based, religious, or homophobic in nature, using swastikas or other symbols and slogans of the KKK, Nazi party, or other hate groups, or involving the use of epithets.
Bigotry must be the central motive for the attack, rather than economics, revenge, etc., as in other kinds of crime.
Any assault against a person, in the absence of other apparent motivation, when initiated with racial, ethnic, religious, gendered or homophobic epithets, will be considered to be a hate crime.
Vandalism to a house of worship, or to an ethnic, religious, or gay or lesbian organization will be considered a hate crime in the absence of evidence of other motives.
Obscene or threatening phone calls, when containing racial, ethnic, religious, gender-based, or homophobic slurs, are considered hate crimes when it is determined that hate is the primary motivation for the call.
(Reference §422.55 of the California Penal Code.)
In some cases, you may not be certain if what you've experienced is a hate crime, however if you report it, the police will investigate and make the appropriate determination.
- GenderEquity Resources on Hate Crime
- The Office of the President, Campus Climate
- UC Berkeley Principles of Community
- Rules & Policies Pages
- California Law (to research the text of the Penal Code)
- SafetyCounts.berkeley.edu (see What to do for Personal Safety)
- List of other campus security authorities to whom you may report
- Flyer for distribution in your area, This is Bear Territory, No Hate Zone (lettersized PDF)
- UCPD Recommended Campus Safety Guidelines
- How to Report Crime (guidelines for how to make a call, and what is important to tell the dispatcher)
In an EMERGENCY, from a cell phone on or near campus, dial 510 642-3333 If you have any questions, please contact UCPD:
Email the police
Visit us at 1 Sproul Hall (basement), near Telegraph Avenue & Bancroft Way
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Station Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Mail us at University of California Police Department, Berkeley, Records Unit
1 Sproul Hall, MC #1199, Berkeley, CA 94720-1199
Phone: 510 642-6760, 24 hours a day
Fax: 510 643-4655
Records Unit Services Offered: Livescan Fingerprinting is done by appointment only, Tuesday — Friday; Lost & Found Services are available Monday — Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Court Order Bookings are done by by appointment only Monday — Friday; Records Requests are also available.