News

Hate crime: Report it to stop it

Published: 07 Oct 2020 17:03

Campaign urging Scots to report hate crime is relaunched.

A campaign which urges Scots who witness hate crime to ‘report it to stop it’ is relaunched today ahead of Hate Crime Awareness Week.

The initiative features a series of letters from Scotland - addressed to perpetrators of hate crime - describing the impact it has on its victims, stating that ‘your hate has no home here’. 

Carried on posters, radio advertisements and social media, the campaign is being run in partnership with Police Scotland and urges victims and witnesses of hate crime to report it. It also provides information on how to report during the pandemic.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said “The Scottish Government takes all forms of hate crime seriously. It negatively impacts on individuals and communities so we must all play our part to challenge hate crime and help shape the inclusive and respectful society we all wish to live in.

“If you experience or witness a hate crime, whether it’s physical or verbal, online or in the streets, please report it. You can do this by calling the police or by using their online reporting form. You can also use one of Scotland’s many third party reporting centres, or report anonymously through Crimestoppers.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“There were over 5,200 hate crimes reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal last year. But we know that many incidents go unreported.

“The law should protect vulnerable groups and minorities  which is why we brought forward the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill.

“The Bill, which is currently before parliament,  will increase confidence in policing among those communities affected by hate crime, by making it clear to victims, perpetrators, communities and to wider society that offences motivated by prejudice are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie  said: "Hate crime can have a lasting impact on individuals, families and communities. Scotland isn't the kind of country that will tolerate those who seek to  target and abuse people based on their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender/transgender identity and Police Scotland will take strong action against anyone who acts in that way.

"We will investigate any allegation of hate crime whether from a victim or a bystander. We encourage anyone who has been targeted, or witnessed anyone else being abused in this way, to contact the police either in person, by telephone or via third party reporting centres, as detailed on our website."