Penelope, who is of Japanese descent, details her story of being affected by several racial abuse incidents in Glasgow.
“Earlier this year I experienced a hate crime incident, where someone made a comment on my race and was verbally abusive and threatening. I had never made any comment to them before they said anything to me.
“It is the second time I have been racially abused in Glasgow. In the middle of 2021, less than a year after I moved to the city, strangers threw rocks at myself and my partner in broad daylight.
“Besides the racist abuse, I have commonly heard strangers making inappropriate comments at myself and my partner, such as Ching Chong and Jackie Chan etc. This has definitely become worse since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. While I recognise some people are simply trying to be friendly, this doesn’t change how hurtful, inappropriate, and damaging these comments are.
“Both times I reported the incidents to the police, however nobody was arrested. Despite this I believe it is important to report these incidents, as they help the police to realise the scale of the problem, especially following the pandemic.
“I encourage anyone who has experienced racial hate crime to report incidents to the police and to seek support. You may feel as if the police won’t take it seriously, but they will investigate any complaints of hate crime thoroughly.
“Victim Support Scotland can help support anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to get to the point where they feel like they are able to report incidents to the police. There is also the option of reporting in a safe and confidential setting through the Third Party Reporting system.”