This chapter examines the future challenges facing hate crime policy by reviewing the efforts of campaigners and criminal justice practitioners who have been involved with shaping the policy domain so far. It looks at the usefulness of the concept of hate crime and its future potential. Importantly, as hate crime legislation has been defined by what victim groups are included within it, future policy complications in this area are examined with a particular focus on the categories of age and gender. The chapter demonstrates how past developments in hate crime policy might shape its future. It explores why provisions for racially aggravated offences were established in 1998 and to explain their subsequent expansion to include religion, sexual orientation and disability. The chapter examines the issue of hate crime victimisation and policy – it has been suggested that initiatives in this field have created the appearance of a hierarchy of victims and that notions of victimhood appear to be simplistic.

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