News

New report shows increase in number of hate crimes reported in Scotland in the last year

June 12, 2020

Today (12 June) the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service has published a report on Hate Crime in Scotland 2019-20 which brings together figures on race crime, and on crime motivated by prejudice related to religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

The main findings are:

  • There has been an increase in the number of charges reported in 2019-20 compared to 2018-19 for all categories of hate crime.
  • Racial crime remains the most commonly reported hate crime. In total 3,038 charges relating to race crime were reported in 2019-20, an increase of 4 percent compared to 2018-19. Although the number of charges has increased in 2019-20, it is still the second lowest annual figure since consistent figures became available in 2003-04.
  • Sexual orientation aggravated crime is the second most commonly reported type of hate crime. The number of charges reported increased by 24 percent in 2019-20 to 1,486.
  • There were 660 religiously aggravated charges reported in 2019-20, an increase of 24 percent compared to 2018-19.
  • The number of disability aggravated charges increased by 29 percent to 387 in 2019-20.
  • There were 41 charges reported in 2019-20 with an aggravation of transgender identity, compared to 40 in 2018-19.

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf introduced the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament on 24 April 2020. The Justice Committee launched a call for views on the legislation on Monday 4 May 2020. The closing date for receipt of written submissions is Friday 24 July 2020.

Responding to today’s hate crime figures, Kate Wallace, Chief Executive of Victim Support Scotland said: 

“I am deeply disappointed to see that all types of hate crime are on the increase in Scotland compared to last year, with racially motivated hate crime remaining the most commonly reported. Victim Support Scotland is supportive of the zero tolerance approach to hate crime by the Scottish Government and across criminal justice agencies.

“I am hopeful that the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill will make clear the harmful impact that stirring up hatred has on individuals and marginalised communities.

“Hate crime can have a long-lasting impact on individuals, families and communities, leading to a sense isolation and powerlessness. Victim Support Scotland can help. Our services are free, confidential and available to everyone, regardless of background. Anyone affected by hate crime and hate incidents, who does not want to report to the police directly, can use Victim Support Scotland’s Third Party Reporting services across the country. Please contact us for a confidential chat on 0800 160 1985 or visit www.victimsupport.scot.”

Whoever you are and whatever the crime, we’re here to help