Hate crime cases increase in Scotland

Police anti-sectarian initiative Religious sectarian hate crime cases have not been included in the figures for 2011/12

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Hate crime cases rose by 14% over the last 12 months in Scotland, with just over 6,000 charges being reported.

The official figures published showed there were 4,518 race crime charges in 2011/12, a rise of 8% on the previous 12 month period.

Religiously aggravated charges rose by 29% to 897.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal said greater awareness, reporting and recording of hate crimes partly accounted for the increased figures.

The statistics relate directly to race crimes, and on crimes motivated by prejudice related to religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "Hatred of any kind, whether it is on the basis of religion, race or sexual orientation, is unacceptable in modern Scotland and those responsible are being punished with the full force of the law.

"The Lord Advocate sent out strong warning last year that this kind of behaviour would be met with a zero tolerance response and our police and prosecutors are responding, tackling the actions of these individuals head on.

"The small minority who think that this kind of behaviour is somehow acceptable are finding out the hard way that it isn't, and never will be. Their actions shame Scotland and they are being swiftly punished by Scotland's prosecutors."

The figures do not include 42 charges reported to the Crown linked to a new law on religious sectarian hate crime at football matches, which came into force on 1 March.

Main findings on hate crime

Crime types 2011/12 2010/11 Percentage change

Source: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal

Race

4,518

4,178

7.53%

Religious aggravation

897

695

29.06%

Sexual orientation

652

447

45.86%

Aggravation of disability

68

48

41.66%

Aggravation of transgender identity

16

14

14.29%

TOTAL

6,151

5,385

14.22%

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