The Scottish Government has joined with Police Scotland and the Crown Office (COPFS) to launch a new campaign against hate crime.
‘Hate has no home in Scotland’ launches during Hate Crime Awareness Week and will run until November 26.
It aims to increase public understanding of what hate crime is, and how to report it - for those who personally experience it and, importantly, bystanders to hate crimes.
More than 5,300 cases of hate crime were reported in Scotland over the past year, with many other incidents going unreported. The campaign has been developed in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders involved in dealing with hate crime and its consequences as a response.
Launching the campaign, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said:
“We all need to play our part to eradicate hate crime, which has no place in Scotland. ‘Hate has no home’ encourages and empowers people to recognise hate crime and report it, stopping this discrimination at its source. That is particularly important when people are bystanders – no one should be a passive witness when one of our fellow citizens is attacked because of who they are.
“We are committed to working with stakeholders, including Police Scotland and the COPFS, to tackle this blight. Ensuring we all take a stand and report hate crime is an important part of creating a fairer country for all. I look forward to seeing the country come together to support the campaign and take a stand against such hate.”
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, Police Scotland, Safer Communities, said:
“People of all races, religions, ethnicities, of any sexual orientation or with any disability should be able to live their lives free from hate or harassment. There is no place for hate in Scotland and it is our communities, who will lead the way in tackling hate crime with the support of police, the Government and other partners.
“Hate crime is under reported, we want to change that and we are asking people not to be bystanders. Speak out, help us tackle hate crime. By working together we can drive prejudice out of our communities and out of Scotland.”
Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC said:
“Crime motivated by hatred is not only a wrong against the individual, but is an affront to our collective values as a community, creating division and fear. That is why we treat it so seriously and why we will continue to do so.
“The prosecution service, along with our colleagues in Police Scotland and other agencies, plays an essential role in creating an environment in which all people who live in Scotland, regardless of their personal or social circumstances, can have confidence that they live in a just society and that they will be protected from crime.”