'Dear Haters Campaign' implementation: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked for:

‘I am looking for information regarding the Dear Haters Campaign, and have already come accross the FOI request FOI/18/03556. This request does not however tell me how this campaign came about. I would be grateful to find out who decides that a campaign like this should be released, and is it voted on in parliment before it is put out into the public realm? If so, how do I find out who voted?

I'd be grateful for any information as to how public law enforcement campaigns are developed, and also how these are actually policed in real life. There must be guidelines to separate people that simply disagree with stated ideologies, from people that instigate hate crime.’


I enclose the information you requested.

1. How this campaign come about?

Following a summit convened by the Scottish Government on 14 October 2015, Ministers announced their intention to establish an Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion. The main purpose of the group was to provide evidenced findings and recommendations which the Scottish Government could take forward in partnership with communities to help eliminate hate crime for good.

One of the recommendations(1) of the Advisory Group was that public education should be undertaken to improve understanding of the nature and extent of hate crime.

At a parliamentary debate(2) on working together to tackle hate crime and prejudice that took place on 9 November 2016, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities announced that the Scottish Government would develop a country-wide campaign to raise awareness of the effects of hate crime on individuals and communities.

The Scottish Government launched a six week ‘Hate Has no Home in Scotland’ campaign in October 2017 in partnership with Police Scotland to increase public awareness of what hate crime is and encourage witnesses to report the incident to the police or a third party reporting centre. Following the success of this campaign(3), a further campaign was planned for 2018 to focus on messaging that represented the primary communication objectives.

While the 2017 campaign targeted the lower socio-economic groups, the evaluation(4) showed that the younger part of this audience was more likely to see the campaign. They were also more likely to be a bystander to hate crime and most open to use of online reporting mechanics but less likely to be motivated to take action. Sixteen to 34 year olds were therefore identified as the target audience for further campaign activity.

2. Who decides that a campaign like this should be released?

Scottish Government marketing campaigns are approved by the Head of Marketing, Strategy and Insight before final approval is sought from Ministers. Scottish Government marketing campaigns are developed in conjunction with policy makers and stakeholders. Creative work is tested with our target audience to assess their effectiveness in delivering a particular message or driving a particular action. This creative testing also allows us to optimise campaigns before launching.

Policy officials prepare a formal minute for the portfolio Minister based on evidence from the stakeholder engagement sessions noted above. Such minutes are the formal means of communicating information and advice to Ministers and seeking decisions from them. They form a key part of the record of advice given and decisions taken.

3. Is it voted on in Parliament before release before it is put out into the public realm?

Not all Government policies require to be subject to a vote in parliament, but Ministers have a duty to the Parliament to account, and to be held to account, for the policies, decisions and actions taken within their field of responsibility. However, motions are used by MSPs as a means of highlighting local issues and achievements, and as a means to initiate debate or propose a course of action.

Motions can be lodged for debate in Parliament as part of parliamentary business, for debate as part of Members’ Business, to propose that legislation is agreed to or passed or simply to generate support. Other MSPs can sign up in support of motions that have been lodged.

Amendments to motions are also lodged by MSPs to allow alternative points of view to be discussed and debated.

As stated in section 1 of this document, a motion lodged by the then Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities(5) on working together to tackle hate crime and prejudice was agreed.

In addition, parliamentary questions (PQs) can be asked by any MSP to the Scottish Government or the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body(6). The questions provide a means for MSPs to obtain factual and statistical information from both.

Parliamentary questions can be in oral or written form. Oral questions are answered at Topical, Portfolio, General and First Minister’s Question Times. Urgent questions can also be taken in the Chamber.

PQs related to the hate crime campaign are:
Question S5W-21133: James Kelly, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government which organisations it consulted when drafting the anti-hate crime campaign, Dear Haters.

Answered by Aileen Campbell (06/02/2019):

On 26 September we launched a hate crime campaigning partnership with Police Scotland which aimed to encourage witnesses to report. The campaign was developed in partnership with a range of stakeholders, including:

Police Scotland, COPFS, COSLA, Education Scotland, BEMIS, CEMVO, Glasgow City Council, Central Scotland Regional Equality Council, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, Community Safety Glasgow, Interfaith Scotland, Edinburgh Interfaith Association, SCoJeC, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, Equality Network, LGBT Youth Scotland, Mental Health Foundation, People First (Scotland), I Am Me Project, Inclusion Scotland, YouthLink Scotland.

The campaign ran until 1 November and was Scotland-wide.

Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 06/02/2019

Question S5W-18380: Annie Wells, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 23/08/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has for upcoming hate crime campaigns, and whether it will set out what focus these will have outwith raising awareness.
Answered by Aileen Campbell (11/09/2018):

Within our Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Plan we committed to develop a public awareness campaign and in October 2017 we ran our ‘Hate Has No Home in Scotland’ campaign. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of what hate crime is and encourage both victims and witnesses to report it.

Building on the success of this campaign we will launch a further campaign later this year which will aim to encourage witnesses of hate crime to report, and provide reassurance that the police will take action. Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 11/09/2018

4. If yes, how do I find out who voted?

The Scottish Parliament is responsible for records of its business. You may wish to contact the Parliament and, if so, this link may be of assistance https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/motions-questions-and-answers.aspx.

5. How are public law enforcement campaigns developed?

When a new policy is developed, there is often a need to communicate with the public, in order to raise awareness or drive behavioural change. Marketing campaigns are one of the levers that the Scottish Government uses to do this.

All marketing campaigns are developed according to the following process:

  • Scope out the policy aims and how marketing might help address these aims.
  • Primary and secondary research to develop a full understanding of the topic area and target audience.
  • Develop SMART objectives for the campaign.
  • Develop the marketing strategy, including media planning and creative development.
  • Execute through communications channels identified in the strategy.
  • Evaluate all campaigns using pre and post campaign tracking methods to measure success against SMART objectives.

6. How are these [campaigns] actually policed in real life?

Officials found this question unclear, so have provided two options:

Police Scotland

The Police Scotland web-site has advice(7), telephone numbers and links to help make it as easy as possible for victims to report Hate Crime.
Current hate crime legislation(8) allows any existing offence to be aggravated by prejudice in respect of one or more of the protected characteristics of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

Marketing Campaign

All Scottish Government campaigns are evaluated using a number of metrics:

  • Independent pre and post wave campaign evaluation to measure campaign awareness, impact and motivation to act
  • Media metrics to measure the reach and impact of the paid-for media campaign
  • Social media and website analytics to measure engagement and sentiment around the campaign
  • PR/media coverage for the campaign
  • Stakeholder feedback and engagement

7. [statement] There must be guidelines to separate people that simply disagree with stated ideologies, from people that instigate hate crime?

  • The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that Scotland is a modern, inclusive nation which protects, respects and realises internationally recognised human rights.
  • Both the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
  • The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has frequently described freedom of expression as one of the essential foundations of a democratic society. Any limitation placed upon it must be prescribed by law and be necessary in the interests of certain specified aims, including national security, public safety, the prevention of disorder or crime, the protection of health or morals, and the protection of the reputation or rights of others.
  • Any limitation must balance an individual’s right to express themselves with the broader public interest and be proportionate (no more than is necessary) for the achievement of the specific aim.
  • This does not prevent the expression of views or opinions that will shock other people or that criticise beliefs, ideas or viewpoints. However, the right does not protect expression which seeks to incite violence, hatred or discrimination against others.
  • A balance must always be struck between the right of individuals to express points of view which others may find offensive or insulting, and the rights of others to be protected from hatred and discrimination.
  • Whether a restriction on freedom of expression is justified is likely to depend on a number of factors, including the identity of the speaker, the context of the speech and its purpose, as well as the actual words spoken or written.
  • The Scotland Act 1998 requires that all legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament and all acts of members of the Scottish Government must be compatible with rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for public authorities in Scotland to act incompatibly with the Convention rights. If human rights breaches do occur, the Scottish courts have the power to hear cases and provide remedies.
  • The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to freedom of expression, are also contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

You may also find an Equality and Human Rights Commission information leaflet useful: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/20150318_foe_legal_framework_guidance_revised_final.pdf

(1) https://www.gov.scot/publications/tackling-prejudice-building-connected-communities-scottish-government-response-report-independent/pages/4/
(2) https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5M-02364&ResultsPerPage=10
(3) https://www.gov.scot/publications/hate-crime-campaign-2017-evaluation/
(4) https://www.gov.scot/publications/hate-crime-campaign-2018-evaluation/
(5) https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5M-02364&ResultsPerPage=10
(6) https://www.parliament.scot/abouttheparliament/16231.aspx
(7) https://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/advice-for-victims-of-crime/hate-crime/
(8) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/37/section/96

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Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

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