Tackling Hate Crime: Greater Protections for Victims and Communities Coming into Force

New laws to tackle the harm caused by hatred and prejudice come into force next month.

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The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act will provide greater protection for victims and communities from 1st April.

It creates new stirring up of hatred offences for protected characteristics including age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. These extra provisions will add to the long-standing stirring up racial hatred offences, which have been in place since 1986.

Recent statistics show that 5,738 charges of hate crime were reported in Scotland in 2022-23. However, we know not all crimes will be reported.

A new Scottish Government public awareness raising campaign supported by Police Scotland has been launched today. The Hate Hurts campaign shows the impact of hate crime and encourages those who have witnessed or experienced a hate crime to come forward.

The Hate Hurts campaign runs from 11th to 31st March across Scottish Government social media channels, video on demand and outdoor billboards.

The law currently recognises hate crime based on prejudice towards disability, race, religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

Hate Crime in Scotland 2022-23 statistics.

Hate Crime Strategy and Delivery Plan sets out the strategic priorities for tackling hate crime in Scotland.