Scotland crime news: Hate crime against transgender people at highest since records began in 2010

Hate crime with an aggravation of transgender identity is up 87% from last year, and is the highest since the legislation first came into force.

By Rachel Mackie
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:23 pm

The latest figured on hate crime in Scotland have been released on Tuesday, and show that hate crime with an aggravation of transgender identity is up 87% from last year.

There were 84 charges reported in 2021-22, compared to 45 the previous year.

The report confirmed that this “is the highest number of such charges reported since the legislation introducing this aggravation came into force in 2010.”

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The report also shows that all hate crime is down across the country by 0.2% compared to last year, with 5,640 charges containing at least one element of hate crime reported to COPFS this year.

It adds: “The proportion of hate crime charges that relate to sexual orientation has increased from 13% to 32% over the same period.

"In 2021-22 for the first time the proportion relating to disability (12%) was higher than the proportion relating to religion (9%).”

The majority of hate crimes contain a racial element, though this proportion has gone from 75% a decade ago, to 55% in the last year.

Scotland crime news: Hate crime against transgender people at highest since records began in 2010

Commenting on the annual publication for the first time as 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.

“We would urge any victim or witness to such crime to come forward and report it. They can be confident that Scottish prosecutors are committed to a robust approach to every report of hate crime they receive.”

There were 3,107 charges relating to race crime reported, down by 7% from last year.

However, the number of disability aggravated charges has increased by 44%.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Keith Brown added: “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.

“That is why the Scottish Government has committed to developing a new hate crime strategy, for publication later this year. Building on the successful delivery of the Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Plan, the new strategy will look at where we need to bolster approaches to effectively confront hate crime offending in Scotland. The strategy will also complement implementation of a modernised hate crime legislative framework, fit for the 21st century.

“To help support strategy development we have brought together a range of third sector organisations and public bodies – in the form of a Strategic Partnership Group – who each possess specific expertise in matters connected to tackling hate crime, eradicating prejudice, fostering community cohesion and advancing equalities and human rights.

“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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