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Homophobic hate crime soars to ‘unacceptable’ record highs in Scotland

Lily Wakefield July 20, 2020
homophobic hate crime scotland

Perthshire Pride, Scotland, 2019. (Stewart Kirby/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)

Homophobic hate crime has soared to record highs in Scotland, according to official data.

Annual statistics released by the Crown Office, Scotland’s prosecution service, revealed that there was a total of 1,486 homophobic hate crimes reported in 2019-20, up 24 per cent from 1,194 in 2018-19.

With the exception of 2014-15, homophobic hate crime in Scotland has increased year on year since it was included in hate crime legislation in 2010, making sexual orientation aggravated offences the second most common type of hate crime after race crime.

In some areas, the increase was even greater, with a 68 per cent increase in Aberdeen within the last year, and a 41 per cent increase in Dundee.

The statistics also revealed that in 2019-20 there were 41 charges of anti-trans hate crime in Scotland, up one from 40 in 2018-19.

Deejay Bullock, the founder of Aberdeen-based LGBT+ support charity Four Pillars, told The Press and Journal that he was “very alarmed” by the soaring numbers of hate crime motivated by sexual orientation.

He said: “I don’t believe this can be attributed to increase reporting, which means there is a current increase in hate crimes on the LGBT + community.

“This is not acceptable and we will be working with Police Scotland immediately to establish a strategy to combat this rise and any future crimes.”

Last month, a queer 16-year-old in Dundee was tackled to the ground in a homophobic attack while walking home, leaving her covered in cuts and bruises.

Kourtney Grand was subjected to the homophobic abuse at around midnight on June 17.

She said: “I was walking when a girl came running up behind. She jumped on me and I fell to the ground. The left side of my face is all swollen and I have scratches on my face as well as my arms.”

Last year, data showed that homophobic and transphobic hate crimes had more than doubled in England and Wales between 2014 and 2018.

Almost half of the hate crimes committed on trans people were violent, with 46 per cent being offences like assault and grievous bodily harm. For homophobic hate crimes, 40 per cent were violent in 2018.

More: Aberdeen, crown office, Dundee, Hate crime, Homophobia, Scotland, transphobia

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