Specifics of hate crime investigation: A police perspective

Abstract:
This article focuses on the specifics of hate crime investigation and it is based on qualitative interviews with Czech police officers. The interviewees were police specialists in political extremism, police officers who work with minorities and a member of the General Inspectorate of Security Forces. The paper analyzes their accounts of (1) the methods of recognizing and proving the bias motive and (2) the reasons that may lead to its disregard on the part of police officers. The participants described the perpetrator’s verbal or written utterances and his previous experience with hate crime and sympathies for hateful ideologies or movements as the main indicators of hate crime. According to the participants, the hate motive might be ignored in the investigation because of the lack of evidence; insufficient training; excessive workload; prejudices against victims; fears of violence escalation; and criticism of the police. The article ends with a discussion of the political implications of the findings and directions for future research.

Keywords:
hate crime; reporting; police investigation; bias motive

Authors:
Václav Walach, Klára Kalibová, Petr Kupka, Benjamin Petruželka

DOI:

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