How are Hate Crimes Enforced?

Your local police or sheriff’s department enforce criminal laws and are the first responders. Criminal prosecution of your case can be pursued by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Office of the California State Attorney General or the U.S. State Attorney, depending on the nature of the case.  In some cases, the Federal Bureau of Investigation may also be called in to assist.

What You Can Do to Stop Hate:

  • Learn to recognize hate crimes and incidents.
  • Report suspected hate crimes and incidents to your local police department and OC Human Relations.
  • Create an environment of zero tolerance for bias and hate motivated behaviors.
  • Create opportunities for diverse people to come together to learn about each other.
  • Create diverse teams to encourage people to work together on common goals.
  • Maintain a respectful, inclusive climate in your school, community, neighborhood, work or business.
  • Model respect and inclusion towards others, especially when you are around children.
  • Offer to support and assist victims to let them know they are not alone.
  • Speak out against acts of prejudice, discrimination and hate in your community.


Under Reporting:

  • According to the U.S. Justice Department National Crime Victim Survey, hate crimes and bias incidents potentially occur 24-28 times more than reported.
  • Victims of hate are often very traumatized after the incident and feel that reporting to law enforcement will further victimize them.
  • People are often fearful the perpetrator will return and harass the further if they make a report.
  • People may also believe making a report only serves to stigmatize themselves and/or family.
  • People often have little faith the perpetrators will be caught and successfully prosecuted.
  • Immigrant victims can have difficulty communicating the incident due to cultural barriers, including language.
  • Immigrants may distrust any government agency as a result of the reputation of similar agencies in their native country.
  • Undocumented workers will not usually come forward because they fear contacting any law enforcement agencies due to their immigration status.

Hate Crime Presentations:

The OC Human Relations Commission has been documenting hate crimes and providing assistance to victims of hate crimes since 1971.  The Commission remains steadfast in its stance against hate related crimes and incidents.

OC Human Relations can present a 30 minute to one hour PowerPoint presentation on Hate Crimes in Orange County to your organization.  For more information email Joyce Sanchez at or phone 714-480-6580.

Hate Crime Network:

In 1991 the Orange County Human Relations Commission formed the Hate Crime Network to bring together representatives from law enforcement, community organizations, and the Orange County District Attorney, California Attorney General and the United States Attorney General’s offices in a setting that facilitates the sharing of current hate crime issues and, most importantly, networking with others. Periodic meetings of the Network are held, to which members of the public are invited. The Network is dedicated to creating a united voice against hate, developing resources for victims of hate, and building an appreciation of diversity in the community. Some of its objectives are:

  • To Increase immediate and effective assistance to victims of hate.
  • To address the under-reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents in our communities
  • To build and develop collaborations between community organizations and law enforcement
  • To educate communities about roots and trends of hate crimes and hate incidents

Hate Crime Network meetings will be listed on OC Human Relations Calendar of Events.