The Law On Bullying

Bullying can be very upsetting and can make you feel very isolated. But remember there is help out there. The best person to speak to first is a trusted adult such as a parent or a teacher. They will be able to offer you support and advice.

When it comes to the law around bullying it is complicated. Many incidents of bullying may not actually be classed as a crime, but in some cases where someone has been targeted because of prejudice (such as the way someone looks or their beliefs) then this might be classed as a ‘hate incident’ and you must tell the police.

Not all hate incidents amount to a crime but they can escalate if not reported.

Bullying incidents which are illegal involve:

  • violence or assault
  • theft
  • harassment and intimidation over a period of time including calling someone names or threatening them, making abusive phone calls, and sending abusive emails or text messages (one incident is not normally enough to get a conviction)
  • anything involving hate crimes (where someone has been targeted because of prejudice against the way they look, their beliefs or the way they live their lives for example)

If this has happened to you or anyone you know you must report it to the police.

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