Promising Practice

Expanded, systematic hate crime data collection and reporting by the Austrian police

Systematische Erfassung diskriminierender Motivlagen bei Strafanzeigen
The project targets Austrian police and aims to improve police hate crime recording and data collection procedures and to build the police’s capacity to treat hate crime victims and investigate hate crime.
Improve recording and data collection
Flagging potential hate crimes
Provision of guidance, training and capacity building
Use of bias-indicators


  • Federal Ministry of the Interior (Bundesministerium für Inneres).
  • The Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology (Institut für Rechts- und Kriminalsoziologie, IRKS) is a scientific partner of the project.

Start and end date

Start date: 1 November 2020.

End date: ongoing training and data collection/project ends in August 2021.



Target group(s)

  • Main beneficiaries are (potential) victims of hate crime and hate speech in Austria.
  • Austrian police force, which is made up of 28,500 police officers.
  • Local communities and decision makers in public authorities, notably in the Ministry of the Interior.


This project (EU Grant Agreement No. 847659 HC-POL-DATA) is funded by the EU’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014–2020.


  • Extend and strengthen the capability of the Austrian police to investigate hate crime and hate speech cases through systematic recording.
  • Improve hate crime data collection and evaluation.
  • Adequately interact with victims and ensure that their rights are respected through implementing targeted training activities for police officers.


  • New flagging system for hate crime data collection and evaluation in the police recording database. Prosecutors receive notifications about flagged hate crime cases automatically.
  • Internal police decree on hate crime, in particular on its definition and data collection and data quality management procedures, including extended lists of bias indicators.
  • Scientific pilot report on hate crime including the results of the first representative survey on hate crime victimisation in Austria conducted by project partner IRKS and the Ministry of the Interior – to be published in July 2021.
  • Police information folders for hate crime victims (short version), including the main project results (longer version) – published in July 2021.
  • Since August 2020, an e-learning seminar on hate crime, which is delivered through the e-Campus of the Police Training Academy (Sicherheitsakademie, SIAK), has been available to the whole police force. The seminar consists of three modules. By 10 May 2021, 22,788 police officers had been examined and had obtained certification. Since May 2021, an additional module for prosecutors and judges has been available.
  • As an extension of the e-learning curriculum, 207 multipliers from all federal provinces underwent a further two-day training course. They were provided with various training materials (an extensive handbook, teaching boards, visiting cards with bias indicators for all police officers, PowerPoint presentations, quizzes, model cases, videos, etc.). The multipliers are providing in-service trainings for all frontline officers and serve as contact points internally and externally for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and victim support organisations.
  • Presentation of the pilot report, including to civil society, in particular the permanent participation platform of civil society in the Ministry of the Interior (Zivilgesellschaftliches Dialoggremium), in which all six dimensions of diversity are represented by NGOs, in July 2021.


  • The project aims to provide a scientific basis to improve the recording of discriminatory/bias motives in criminal charges.
  • Since 1 November 2020, a new flagging system with tick boxes, drop-down menus, tool tips and obligatory ‘further comments’ fields has been operational online in the police recording database. This enables the police to record bias motives according to different legally protected groups. The following bias motives are included:
    • age
    • disability (including drop-down menu)
    • gender (including drop-down menu)
    • skin colour o national/ethnic origin
    • religion (including drop-down menu)
    • sexual orientation (including drop-down menu)
    • social status (including drop-down menu) o worldview (including drop-down menu)
    • no bias motive.
  • Fully programmed interfaces between the police database and the database of the Ministry of Justice mean that the flagged hate crime data will also be visible to prosecutors once the investigation reports are sent.
  • The police interrogation tool provides guidance on hate crime victim assessment before conducting interviews.
  • The police can access online hate crime information (including bias indicators).
  • A first representative victimisation survey on hate crime has been conducted.
  • IRKS carries out international comparative studies on data collection and systematic observations of the implementation process and comparisons of the collected data with other data sources.

Critical success factors

  • Ongoing dialogue with civil society organisations since the project’s development phase, especially the ‘No Hate Speech Movement’ and other stakeholders.
  • Ongoing dialogue on lessons learned and promising practices with international institutions. These include the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the European Commission, the EU High-level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance and its subgroups, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and other Member States (e.g. four study visits to Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Slovakia were carried out within the framework of this project).

Actors involved in the design and implementation of the practice

  • From January to March 2020, 17 meetings with various civil society organisations and NGOs took place to improve the check boxes, bias indicators and model cases and build trust. In February 2021, the progress of the project was presented to these partners at a follow-up meeting.
  • As the project management is shared with Department II/1 – Organisation, Service affairs and Analysis of the federal police, various stakeholders from across the whole police force, including its trade union, have been involved in the preparation and implementation of this project.

Monitoring and evaluation

  • Project partner IRKS is involved scientifically in all the work packages and main outputs of the project (e.g. it carried out 15 field interviews with police officers in the project’s development phase to evaluate the draft flagging system).
  • Since November 2020, Department II/BK/4 – Crime Analysis of the Federal Criminal Intelligence Service and Department III/10 – Fundamental and Human Rights have evaluated all flagged hate crime data and some potential non-flagged hate crime data in the police database. The reporting officers are receiving reasoned change requests and additional evaluation cycles have shown that these requests are mostly implemented.
  • The e-learning seminar on hate crime and other training materials are regularly updated in accordance with legal developments and systematic feedback forms received from participants.

Publicly available contact details

Federal Ministry of the Interior

Department III/10 – Fundamental and Human Rights