This Government is clear that any form of hate crime or prejudice is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We continue to celebrate the fullness of Scotland's diversity - everyone in Scotland must be empowered to achieve their potential irrespective of race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities
In June 2017, we published an ambitious programme of work to tackle hate crime and build community cohesion in response to the recommendations made by the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion.
We have established a Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Equalities with key stakeholders to take this work forward.
Hate Has No Home in Scotland Campaign
On 13 October 2017 we launched our six week 'Hate Has No Home in Scotland' campaign in partnership with Police Scotland. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage both victims and witness to report it.
The campaign evaluation was positive and showed it had been particularly successful among those who have experience hate crime. Further information on the campaign evaluation can be found on this news page.
Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion
Launched in October 2015, the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime is developing a comprehensive, long-term approach to preventing and stopping hate crime in Scotland.
Hate crime laws
The Scottish Parliament has legislated to make sure that offences aggravated by prejudice are brought to the attention of the court.
It has done this through the:
- Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003
- Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009
- Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010
The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 criminalises threats of serious violence, and threats intended to incite religious hatred, which are sent by post or posted on the internet.
We are also undertaking work to tackle sectarianism.
A review of hate crime legislation is currently being conducted by Lord Bracadale. You can read more about this work: Hate Crime Legislation Review
Speak Up Against Hate Crime
The Speak Up Against Hate Crime campaign was launched in February 2014. The campaign urged people who have suffered or witnessed crime based on prejudice to report all incidents to Police Scotland.
Hate crime is a criminal offence. You can report a hate crime to Police Scotland.