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Hate Crime in Scotland

A recent report from the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service has revealed the number of hate crimes that took place in Scotland in 2013-14.

The report brings together figures on race crime, and on crime motivated by prejudice related to religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity. It also includes figures for charges under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

The main findings of the report include:

- Racial crime is the most commonly reported hate crime, with more than twice the number of charges than the other four categories of hate crime combined. In total 4,148 race related charges were reported in 2013-14. This is 3% more than in 2012-13, although it is the second lowest figure since 2003-04.

- Sexual orientation aggravated crime was the second most common type of hate crime, with 890 charges reported in 2013-14, 22% more than the previous year. There has been a steady year on year increase in the number of charges reported since the legislation introducing this aggravation came into force in 2010.

- There were 154 charges reported in 2013-14 with an aggravation of prejudice relating to disability, 12% more than in 2012-13. The number of charges reported with an aggravation of transgender identity in 2013-14 was 25, compared to 14 in 2012-13.

- There were 587 charges with a religious aggravation reported in 2013-14, 15% fewer than in 2012-13. However, COPFS points out that some charges that might previously have been reported with a religious aggravation may now be reported under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012. Including relevant charges reported under both pieces of legislation gives a total of 635 religiously aggravated charges in 2013-14, 17% fewer than in 2012-13, and the lowest total since 2009-10.

- The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 came into force on 1st March 2012. There were 203 charges reported under Section 1 (Football) in 2013-14, 24% fewer than in 2012-13.

- Nine charges were reported under Section 6 (Threatening communications) in 2013-14, compared to 19 in 2012-13.

Contact our Criminal Solicitors in Fife

If you require specialist criminal defence advice on this or any other matter, give us a call on 01383 730466 (Dunfermline) or 01592 640680 (Kirkcaldy) or contact us online here.


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