Information on hate crimes and hate incidents. What you can do if you, or someone you know, is a victim.
On this page:
This is defined as:
Any crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated (wholly or partly) by malice or ill will towards a social group.
There are five groups or protected characteristics covered by the hate crime legislation.
- Religion or belief
- Sexual Orientation
- Transgender Identity.
What does this mean?
If someone targets you, or someone else, because of a dislike or prejudice of your disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity then you should report this to the police as a hate crime.
The person experiencing the hate crime does not always need to be in one of these groups.
We would look at why the act or offence was committed. We also look at the perception of the people involved.
Police Scotland treats all hate crimes and incidents seriously. We want you to report these types of incidents to us.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Disability Hate Crime:
The changes and restrictions placed on all our lives during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been difficult for everyone. It has taken a lot to get used to.
However, there is never an excuse for victimising people with either visible or hidden disabilities. These are people for whom following all the guidance may be difficult, or even impossible.
Some people are exempt from aspects of the guidance.
Sergeant Amanda McBride, Police Scotland Safer Communities, explains that we won't tolerate disability hate crime in any form.
This is done with the assistance of a British Sign Language interpreter,
Hates crimes can have a huge impact on people. They have been targeted because of who they are, or who the offender thinks they are. The attack is very personal.
If you’ve experienced a hate crime or incident please report it to us.
You can also report hate crimes or incidents even if it wasn’t directed at you. For example, you could be a friend, neighbour, family member, support worker or a passer-by.
You should tell the police if you think it happened because of disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
It may even be a combination of these things. This is important as it lets us know it is a hate crime or incident.
If something happens and you are not sure if it is a crime please remember if it feels wrong report it and let us help.
If you or someone you know is the victim of hate, there are different ways you can report hate crime.
Sometimes victims or witnesses of hate crime do not feel comfortable reporting the incident to the police. They might be more comfortable reporting it to someone they know.
Police Scotland works in partnership with a number of organisations and groups, to take reports, known as third party reporting centres.
Third party reporting centres could be housing associations, victim support offices and voluntary groups. Staff have been trained to recognise hate crimes and help a victim or witness to submit a report to the police.
Third party reports can be made without giving your name. However, that might affect how much investigation we can do. Find your nearest Third Party Reporting Centre.