The Importance of Reporting Hate Crimes
For the police to respond effectively to any crime, they must be notified immediately via 911 so that any injuries can be treated, witnesses can be interviewed, evidence can be collected and preserved, to increase the chance that suspect(s) will be arrested and successfully prosecuted.
Unfortunately, victims of bias-motivated crimes are often fearful to report for a variety of reasons. This can lead to a significant under-reporting and inaccurate statistics. It also allows the suspects who committed these crimes to continue their behavior with other victims. The Bremerton Police Department wants victims of hate crimes to feel comfortable reporting these incidents to the police.
Ways to Report
- If the incident is happening now, or just happened, call 9-1-1 immediately.
The immediate police response to a report of a hate crime will be handled like any call. However:
- If you believe the incident was motivated by your status, ask the officer to make a note of that in the report.
- If you can, give the officer the exact wording of what was said, regardless of how offensive it is.
- If there are witnesses to the incident, point them out to the officers at the scene.
If the case meets the criteria for a hate crime, your case may be forwarded to a detective for follow up investigation.