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Hate Crime in Scotland, 2017-18

A report on Hate Crime in Scotland 2017-18 was published today. This brings together figures on race crime, and on crime motivated by prejudice related to religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity. It also includes figures for charges under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

The main findings are

• Racial crime remains the most commonly reported hate crime. There were 3,249 charges reported in 2017-18, 4 percent less than in 2016-17. This is 29 percent less than the peak in such charges in 2011-12, and the lowest number reported since consistent figures became available in 2003-04.

• Sexual orientation aggravated crime is the second most common type of hate crime. There were 1,112 charges reported in 2017-18, an increase of 3 percent. With the exception of 2014-15, there have been year on year increases in charges reported since the legislation introducing this aggravation came into force in 2010.

• There were 284 charges reported in 2017-18 with an aggravation of prejudice relating to disability, 51 percent more than in 2016-17. This increase may be partially due to efforts to raise awareness of this type of crime, which is generally thought to be under reported.

• The repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 has affected the number of charges reported under that Act in 2017-18 and also the number of charges reported with a religious aggravation. Figures for 2017-18 cannot be directly compared with previous years.

• There were 642 religiously aggravated charges reported in 2017-18.

• There were 198 charges reported in 2017-18 under Section 1 of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.