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Lord Advocate welcomes publication of hate crime figures

The Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, has welcomed the publication of figures on Hate Crime in Scotland.

 

The data published today shows there has been an increase in the number of charges reported in 2019-20 for all categories of hate crime compared to the previous year.

Following the publication of the figures, the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, said:

“Tackling crime motivated by hatred and prejudice has never been more important, and Scotland’s prosecutors take seriously their responsibility to protect the public from such offending. 

“I am grateful to all of the victims of hate crime who have had the courage and confidence to report their experience, and I encourage anyone who is the victim of such crime to come forward.

“These crimes do not just impact on individuals, but erode the fabric of our society. That is why it is so important for Scotland’s independent prosecution service to continue to respond robustly and fairly, using all of the tools at our disposal.

“Everyone in Scotland should be able to live without fear of being targeted because of their race, religion, disability, identity or sexual orientation and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is committed to protecting the public, especially from crime motivated by hate."

There were 3,038 charges reported for racial hate crime in 2019-20, an increase of 4% since 2018-19. Despite this increase, it is still the second lowest annual figure since 2003-04.

In addition, the number of disability aggravated charges increased by 29% to 387, while sexual orientation aggravated crime rose by 24%, with 1,486 charges.