Hate crimes recorded by the police in Scotland, 2022-23

This report presents updated information on the number of hate crimes recorded by the police in Scotland during 2022-23 (along with previously published time series analysis since 2014-15).


There are a range of factors that could influence the number of hate crimes recorded by the police. Whilst changes in the number of crimes recorded could reflect a change in the number of crimes experienced by the population of Scotland, other factors are also likely to have an impact.

Trends can be affected by public reporting practices; attitudes to certain behaviour may change over time and reporting rates may vary by the type of crime.

Under-reporting of hate crime is also recognised as a key factor, and it could be that different groups in society may be more or less likely to report to the police that they have been the victim of a hate crime. For a broad example of this, the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) estimated that 29% of all crimes (as defined by the SCJS) were reported to the police in 2021-22[1].

In addition to the above, over the past few years the nationwide lockdowns and other measures put in place to limit social contact during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may also have had an impact on the type and volume of hate crime recorded. Such impacts would be greatest in 2020-21, before lessening in subsequent years (further information on this is available in the earlier study).  Caution is also advised before necessarily attributing any changes in hate crime over those years as being due to the pandemic, with longer term trends in some types of offending likely remaining a factor.

Given the above, and as with all crime committed in Scotland, the analysis provided in this report can only inform users about cases that were reported to or otherwise came to the attention of the police. These may not necessarily be the same as for those hate crimes that didn’t get reported by a victim or anyone else, and therefore the characteristics of all hate crime in Scotland could be different.


[1] Results for the 2021-22 SCJS are based on the fieldwork period of November 2021 to December 2022, findings are based on around 5,600 face-to-face interviews with adults living in private households in Scotland.



Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot

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