All categories of hate crime increased in past year

Race-related crime most commonly reported with 3038 people charged in 2019-20, an increase of 4% on previous year.

All categories of hate crime in Scotland have seen an increase in criminal charges over the past year, the latest figures show.

The Crown Office’s annual Hate Crime in Scotland report was released on Friday, bringing together figures for all types of prejudice-related crime.

Religiously-aggravated crimes and those related to sexual orientation both rose by 24%, while disability hate crime increased by 29%.

The report showed race-related crime was the most commonly reported category with 3038 charges in 2019-20, an increase of 4% compared to 2018-19.

Crime related to sexual orientation was the second most common, with a 24% increase to 1486. This type of crime has been steadily rising for the past three years.

There were 41 charges reported in 2019-20 with an aggravation of transgender identity, compared to 40 in 2018-19.

Religiously-aggravated crimes resulted in 660 charges, a 24% increase from the previous year.

The number of disability-aggravated charges increased by 29% to 387.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the figures may suggest victims are more confident about reporting crime, but he warned there should be no “culture of acceptance”.

He said: “We are determined to do everything it takes to ensure Scotland is a place where there is zero tolerance of hate crime. Our message is clear, we will not stand for prejudice or discrimination of any kind.

“We have seen an increase in reported charges across all categories of hate crime this year which may suggest victims have more confidence to come forward, however we also know that many incidents go unreported and are determined to avoid a culture of acceptance.

“In the past few weeks we have seen the damaging impact racism continues to have on our society.

“Hate crime has real-life consequences and, like many, I have been on the receiving end of bigoted abuse and know the deep harm it can cause.

“We must remember that behind each of these reports is a person who has been a victim of unnecessary prejudice and hatred.

“The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill makes clear that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

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