Hate Monster campaign 'doesn't appeal to me', says justice secretary

Angela Constance warned public information campaigns are 'fraught with danger' as she was asked about the controversial Hate Monster.

Scotland’s justice secretary has said Police Scotland’s Hate Monster “didn’t particularly appeal to me” as she warned that public information campaigns can be “fraught with difficulty”.

Angela Constance said she only became aware of the campaign around three or four weeks ago.

She told Scotland Tonight said she “wanted to be positive” when asked about her opinion on the controversial marketing material.

The Hate Monster was launched by police last year to warn about the dangers of hate crime in Scotland.

The campaign has recently resurfaced following the introduction of the Hate Crime and Public Order Act.

Asked by STV News anchor John MacKay about what she made of the Hate Monster, Constance said: “I only saw that promotion probably three or four weeks ago.

“I know it’s a piece of old campaign publicity material that dates back a year.

“Given my experience in government one of the things I would reflect on is that public information campaigns can be fraught with difficulty.

“Sometimes they are a resounding success…let me be positive…the campaigns that Police Scotland, in my view, have been exceptional have been the Don’t Be That Guy campaign.”

The justice secretary was asked what she thought specifically about the Hate Monster campaign.

“Well, I mean it’s…it didn’t particularly appeal to me,” she said.

‘Working-class stereotypes’

The Hate Monster campaign has been accused of stereotyping young working-class men.

SNP MSP Ivan McKee said police were “demonising” an already disadvantaged group that is “heavily impacted by negative interactions with the criminal justice system”.

The Hate Monster

The Hate Monster video sees a cartoon monster become angrier as a narrator warns of hate “feeding aff the emotions” and “weighing ye doon”.

“He’ll make ye wanty have a go at somebody,” the voice says. “A neighbour, somebody on the street, on a night oot, security guy on the door, somebody in the chippy, the taxi driver.

“He’ll make you want to vent your anger just because folk look or act different fae you.

“The Hate Monster wants you to feel you need tae show you’re better than them.

“Then, before ye know it, ye’ve committed a hate crime.”

Releasing the video, Police Scotland said “We know that young men aged 18-30 are most likely to commit hate crime, particularly those from socially excluded communities who are heavily influenced by their peers.

“They may have deep-rooted feelings of being socially and economically disadvantaged, combined with ideas about white-male entitlement.”

Former Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said that it was an insult to those who support their family despite poverty while “ignoring hatred” by wealthier people.

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