Hate Crime on Rise; #BLACKLIVESMATTERDISCRIMINATION NATION; Prosecutors Have Revealed Spike in Prejudice over Religion, Race, Disability and Sexual Orientation

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), June 13, 2020 | Go to article overview

Hate Crime on Rise; #BLACKLIVESMATTERDISCRIMINATION NATION; Prosecutors Have Revealed Spike in Prejudice over Religion, Race, Disability and Sexual Orientation


Byline: SALLY HIND s.hind@dailyrecord.co.uk

HATE crime is on the rise as prosecutors revealed a spike in prejudice related to racism, religion, disability and sexual orientation yesterday.

A report by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service showed racism is still the most commonly reported hate crime with 3038 charges brought in the last year alone - a rise of four per cent compared with 2018-19. Abuse related to sexual orientation is the second most commonly reported type of hate crime, with an increase in charges of 24

The number of hate crimes relating to disability increased by 29 per cent to 387 and there were 660 religiously aggravated charges reported - an increase of 24 per cent compared to the previous year.

Charges were brought in relation to transgender identity abuse on 41 occasions, a rise of one on last year.

Campaigners for victims said they were "deeply disappointed" by the figures and only a zero tolerance approach would help turn the tide on hate. But Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the increase in reported charges "may suggest victims have more confidence" to speak out in light of changing legislation.

The Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, said: "Tackling crime motivated by hatred and prejudice has never been more important, and Scotland's prosecutors take seriously their responsibility to protect the public from such offending.

"I am grateful to all of the victims of hate crime who have had the courage and confidence to report their experience, and I encourage anyone who is the victim of such crime to come forward.

"These crimes do not just impact on individuals but erode the fabric of our society. That is why it is so important for Scotland's independent prosecution service to continue to respond robustly and fairly, using all of the tools at our disposal.

"Everyone in Scotland should be able to live without fear of being targeted because of their race, religion, disability, identity or sexual orientation and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is committed to protecting the public, especially from crime motivated by hate."

The figures were released as thousands of Scots continue to take part in demonstrations linked to the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the death in police custody of Minneapolis man George Floyd. …

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