What is the difference between terrorism and hate crime?

Not all hate crime is linked to extremism and terrorism, but it is unlikely that a terrorist act will not be motivated by hate.

Hate crimes take place due to a bias towards someone’s race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity and can be different acts such as assault, harassment, vandalism etc.

Terrorism is always in the name of politics or religion, designed to influence a government organisation or to intimidate the public. Terrorism tends to encourage and glorifies violence.

How can I report suspicions of terrorism?

If you see behaviour or activity that could be considered suspicious you can either report direct to the police on 101 (999 if it’s an emergency) or you can report anonymously via the Governments ACT site or calling 0800 789 321.

You can also report online material promoting terrorism or extremism on the Home Office website.

What are some examples of suspicious behaviour?

Some types of behaviour or activity that can be considered suspicious are:

  • Buying or storing large amount of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reason
  • Looking at extremist material, or sharing and creating content that promotes or glorifies terrorism
  • Possessing firearms or other weapons or showing an interest in obtaining them
  • Holding passports or other documents in different names for no obvious reason
  • Goes away travelling for long periods of time but is vague about where

What do I do if I think someone might be being groomed to do something?

Radicalisation can be difficult to spot. Some signs may include; isolating themselves, increased anger, secretiveness, a sudden disrespectful attitude towards others with a strong opinion, talking as if from a script.

These signs don’t necessarily mean that a child is being radicalised, however if you are worried NSPCC have a helpline (0808 800 5000). You can dial this number is you are worried that a child is being radicalised or at risk of radicalisation.

If you are a child, and worried about being influenced by other people or are worried about terrorism, you can speak to Childline free on 0800 1111.

Who can I talk to if I am affected by a terrorist event?

There are specific services that can help following a terrorist event. You can find some of these by using the search bar at the top of the page.

Victim Support has a 24/7 support line (0808 168 9111). They also offer a national homicide service for those bereaved by murder or manslaughter, including by terrorism.

British Red Cross is a national humanitarian organisation which supports people in crisis. They provide support directly after an incident at an assistance centre or outreach site. Helplines are also set up to provide emotional support and practical guidance such as information on welfare or financial aid. You can find out more on the British Red Cross website. 

The NSPCC helpline (0808 800 5000) provides advice on how to speak to a child about a terror incident.

Additionally, there are services provided by NHS. You can contact your local team to find out more. If you are under 19, you can contact your local children and young people’s mental health service.


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