Police Scotland has launched its Hate Crime Campaign to inspire victims to come forward and encourage Scotland to stand up to hate crime. As hate crime was an important issue at the Open Space event with several members of the community raising it as a concern, we thought we would promote the campaign.
With over 300 Third Party Reporting Sites across the country, hate crime is a priority for Police Scotland and the campaign seeks to reinforce the message that prejudice based on sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, racial or religious lines will not be tolerated. There are several third party reporting organisations across Edinburgh with one located in Wester Hailes, SCOREscotland in the WHALE Arts Centre.
As victims don’t always think a crime has been committed or thinking that ignoring the issue will make it go away, hate crime has become a widely unreported problem in Scotland. The campaign aims to provide a greater understanding to the public about what constitutes hate crime and how it can be reported.
Hate crime is defined as a crime perceived as being motivated by malice or ill will towards a particular social group on the basis of their actual or presumed sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, race or religion.
Individuals who think targeting people who are different to them is acceptable behaviour are being forced to think again. Police Scotland is working with partner organisations to end such activity and bring perpetrators to justice.
As the campaign starts, the focus in week one is that of crime against those with disabilities. This message is supported by a host of Scottish para-sports athletes including European Club throw record holder Joe Butterfield, Team GB Paralympic football team captain Jonathan Paterson, and European boccia champion Kieran Steer.
Week two (starting 24 August) sees the campaign provide light on the issue of sexual orientation/transgender identity hate crime, before raising awareness of race hate crime a week later (from the 31 August) and discrimination based on religious lines a week after (from September 7).