Scottish police are more gay-friendly than their counterparts in San Francisco, a researcher claims.

According to Northern Constabulary advisor Lisa Buchanan, victims of anti-gay hate crimes are more likely to come forward in Scotland than they are in the traditionally gay-friendly areas of California.

San Francisco has long been known as one of America’s top gay destinations.

But Ms Buchanan, who spent four and a half months with the San Francisco Police Department and the University of California last year, told the constabulary’s e-magazine that Scotland’s force appeared to be more gay-friendly.

She said: “In terms of investigating homophobic hate incidents their approach is comparable to ours, yet there are much fewer victims coming forward.

“I think this is a reflection of the strategic approach to community engagement.

“In Scotland, and in the north, I think we enjoy much better community relations than they do in San Francisco.”

Ms Buchanan, who received an award for her work, will start giving presentations on her research later this month.