From hate to prejudice: Does the new terminology of prejudice motivated crime change perceptions and reporting actions?

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Official definitions of hate crime are viewed as overly narrow and unnecessarily exclusive. To enable more inclusive practices, many jurisdictions have embraced alternative terminologies such as bias crime, targeted crime and prejudice motivated crime. In this article, we examine how police agencies in Victoria, Australia, are grappling with incidents and responses to hate crime. Drawing on the accounts of high priority victim groups, we illustrate how victims and victim advocates make sense of new hate crime terminologies and whether these terminologies facilitate hate crime incident reporting. Our findings speak to the importance of shared understanding and vocabularies; however, police responses to prejudice motivated crime incidents and police interactions with victims remain a significant barrier to reporting behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239 - 255
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • hate crime
  • bias crime
  • prejudice
  • policing
  • victimization

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