Hate Crimes Operational Policy

The UNLV Department of Police Services follows specific policies and procedures with regards to the handling of hate crimes. These policies are circulated to all sworn police officers of the department and are strictly adhered to. A copy of the policy is listed below for viewing.


To establish policies and procedures related to crimes motivated by hatred or bigotry against individuals, businesses, or institutions because of race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Policy and General Provisions

"Hate crime" is defined as an act or a threatened or attempted act by any person or group of persons intended to cause physical injury, emotional suffering, or property damage against the person or property of another individual or group that is or appears to be motivated, all or in part, by race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability. Definitive guidelines for hate crime determination are listed below. This list is not all-inclusive. If an incident appears to be motivated by prejudice, handle it as such. Verification can be made later during the follow-up investigation.

  1. The hate crime must involve a specific target, such as an individual, residence, house of worship, religious or ethnic organization, or business.
  2. Graffiti and vandalism must be racial, ethnic, religious, or homophobic in nature. Examples are cross burning; marking property with swastikas, KKK, Nazi, or other hate group symbols or slogans; or the use of epithets. These unique symbols alone are indicative of a hate crime.
  3. Bigotry must be the central motive for the attack, rather than economics, revenge, etc., as in other crimes.
  4. Any assault against a person, when initiated with racial, ethnic, religious, or homophobic epithets, will be considered to be a hate crime in the absence of other apparent motivation.
  5. Vandalism to a house of worship or ethnic, religious, or gay and lesbian organization will be considered a hate crime in the absence of evidence of other motives.
  6. Obscene or threatening phone calls containing racial, ethnic, religious, or homophobic slurs are considered hate crimes.

A field supervisor shall be notified when it is determined you are investigating a hate crime or a suspected hate crime. The field supervisor will immediately notify the chief of police or designee.

Crime Prevention Tips: Hate Crimes

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