Trans and disability hate crime at highest level under current law

Younger people were more likely to be charged with a hate crime related to transgender abuse amid a rise in cases across the country.

Transgender and disability hate crimes rise to highest level under current legislation iStock

Hate crimes committed against those who identify as transgender rose to the highest level since current legislation came into force in the last year.

Over a quarter of those charged with 84 recorded cases of transphobia were found to be under the age of 20, according to a new report by the Crown Office.

Racially-aggravated abuse remains the largest source of hate crime across the country, though instances of that nature fell by just over 7% compared to the figures recorded in 2020/21.

However, crimes related to sexual orientation rose by 10% to more than 1,700 in the 21/22 period following a steady year-on-year increase.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC said: “Hate crime has damaging consequences for individuals, our communities and society as a whole. No-one should find themselves targeted or abused for the simple act of being who they are.

“Offences which are fired by hatred and prejudice against race, religion, disability, transgender identity or sexual orientation will not be tolerated.

“The Crown takes very seriously our responsibility to protect the public from this offending.

Charges relating to prejudice towards transgender identity increased by 87% on the same crimes reported in 2020-21.

It is the highest number recorded since legislation came into force in 2010.

Meanwhile, 666 charges with an aggravation of prejudice relating to disability were reported, which was 44% more than in 2020-21 and also the highest number since similar legislation became law.

Disability-related charges rose above religious-related charges for the first tome in the 21/22 period.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: “Hate crime is a corrosive form of offending that has hugely damaging effects on victims, their families and the wider community. These latest figures show that we all must redouble efforts to tackle hatred and prejudice in Scotland – it will not be tolerated.

“We continue to encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses a hate crime to report it directly to the police or via a third party reporting service.”

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