HATE crime will be met with zero tolerance by Sussex Police.
The force spoke out during National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which has been taking place this week.
A police spokesman said: “Sussex Police take hate crime seriously; whether it is religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, transgender or disability based hate crime we will listen and take appropriate action.
“It can be hard for people to know what hate crime is, often it can seem like anti social behaviour, or assault; we encourage people to question the reason this has happened and if it stems from hate to let us know so that we can do something about it.
Chief Inspector Ali Darge from Protecting Vulnerable People Branch, Sussex Police , said: “We recognise that all forms of hate crime are under-reported, and tackling this remains one of Sussex Police’s main priorities.
“We are working hard to raise awareness of what hate crime is, how to report it and the support available to victims.
“Hate crimes are hurtful and can be very threatening; they can be confusing and frightening and create a lot of worry. By reporting them when they happen to you, you may also be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else.
“This may include verbal abuse, physical assault, domestic abuse, harassment and damage to property. If a person is bullied as a result of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity, this is also dealt with either as a hate crime or hate incident. Bullying could include name-calling, being spat at or kicked, or having your things taken or damaged. It isn’t just the big things that you should report; every incident is important and adds to our understanding, helping us tackle this crime in the longer term.”