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What Is Hate Crime?

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Definition - Crime motivated by malice or ill will towards a social group by: 

  • Race.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Religion/faith.
  • Disability.
  • Transgender/gender identity (Offences (Aggravated by Prejudice) Act 2010).

Hate crimes are abhorrent and target marginalised and vulnerable members of our communities with devastating effect on both victims and their families.

Police Scotland is committed to making it as easy as possible for victims to report hate crime. 

We have identified hate crime as a high priority under the classification of violence, disorder and anti-social behaviour and continue to place a high priority on such crime, with the aim of: 

  • Increasing the confidence of victims to report hate crimes/incidents.
  • Adopting a multi-agency response to dealing with hate crime.
  • Increasing action against perpetrators through intelligence led pro-active policing and robust enforcement.
  • We continually review incidents and crimes to identify current and new trends, and target our resources accordingly.

A hate incident is any incident that is not a criminal offence, but something which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hate or prejudice.

If you or someone you know is the victim of hate crime, we have various ways that you can report it. Call us on 101, visit your nearest police office or use our online form.

Third party reporting

In some cases victims/witnesses of Hate Crime do not feel comfortable reporting the matter directly to the Police and may be more comfortable reporting it to someone they are familiar with.

To ensure all victims/witnesses are able to report Hate Crimes, Police Scotland works in partnership with a wide variety of partners who perform the role of 3rd Party Reporting Centres. Staff within 3rd Party Reporting Centres have been trained to assist a victim or witness in submitting a report to the police and can make such a report on the victim/witnesses behalf.

Examples of 3rd Party Reporting Centres participating in the scheme range from Housing Associations to Victim Support offices and Voluntary Groups.  Find your nearest Third Party Reporting Centre.

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