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Minister Annabelle Ewing encourages reporting hate crimes to counteract rising incidents

Categories: Articles:Social Justice | Published: 12/06/2017 | Views: 311

While this Herald article suggests that hate crime is on the increase, Scotland’s community safety minister urges people to report such ‘ appalling acts’ and  condemns ‘…any crime motivated by prejudice' as 'absolutely unacceptable’.



The picture above depicts Anti-Islamic graffiti sprayed on the walls of a North Lanarkshire mosque in December 2016.  There were 673 charges of hate crime with a religious aggravation reported in 2016/17, up 14% on 2015/16, the highest number of charges reported over the last four years.Separately, 377 charges were made under laws aimed at tackling sectarianism in football.

Charges under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act increased 32% on the previous year, with 140 of these related to the Scottish Cup Final between Rangers and Hibs in May last year.

Almost half - 44% - of victims in religiously aggravated charges were police officers, the statistics from the Crown Office show.

Elsewhere, racial crime remained the most commonly-reported hate crime.
There were 3,349 charges reported in 2016/17, 10% fewer than in 2015/16, and the lowest number reported since 2003/04.
 
Sexual orientation aggravated crime was the second most common type of hate crime, with 1,075 charges reported in 2016/17, an increase of 5% on the previous year.

There were also 188 charges reported in 2016/17 with an aggravation of prejudice relating to disability, 6% fewer than in 2015-16.

Community safety minister Annabelle Ewing said: "Any crime motivated by prejudice is absolutely unacceptable.

"I remain concerned that hate crimes are under-reported and want to encourage anyone who has been subjected to such appalling acts to come forward to ensure that perpetrators can be dealt with appropriately.

"We will keep engaging with community leaders on how best to raise awareness of how such crimes can be reported and in the meantime.  Read on.
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