UK: Homophobic hate crimes increase by 22% in Scotland
Hate crimes based on sexual orientation have surged by 22% in the past year in Scotland.
According to new figures, homophobic hate crime had risen faster than race-based hate crime, which rose by 3%, or disability-based hate crime, which rose by 12%.
A total of 890 hate crimes based on sexual orientation were recorded across 12 months.
Worryingly, just 25 transphobic hate crimes were recorded, likely to be due to mistrust of the police among the trans community.
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Scotland’s head prosecutor Frank Mulholland said: “I am concerned about the increases in offences motivated by prejudice against sexual orientation and race.
“These show that there is still work to be done in those areas. I have said it before and I will say it again, there is no place in a modern Scotland for any behaviour motivated by prejudice and it will not be tolerated.
“We are heading in the right direction and I am confident that in time such offences will reduce as Scotland becomes an even fairer and more tolerant society to live in.”
Colin MacFarlane, the director of Stonewall Scotland, said: “The sad reality for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Scots is that that they face hate crime every day at home, in their communities and their workplaces.
“Whilst any single hate crime incident is one too many, this increase suggests that more LGBT people feel able to report these crimes to the police. This is a positive development.
“Stonewall Scotland’s research shows, however, that more than a third of LGBT people still don’t feel confident in reporting such incidents to the police and we will continue our work with Police Scotland to address this.
“Today’s figures show that there has been lots done but there is still lots to do.”
Scottish Equalities Secretary Shona Robison said: “No-one should have to face discrimination or prejudice in any form in 21st-century Scotland. It is never acceptable and it will not be tolerated.”