The level of hate crime against people with disabilities rose by 51% in the past year, according to new figures.

A report from the Crown Office said there were 284 charges aggravated by disability prejudice in 2017-18.

Racially-aggravated incidents remained the most common form of hate crime in Scotland over the period, with 3,249 charges filed.

However, the rate fell by 4% compared to 2016-2017 and reached its lowest level for 15 years.

Hate crime legislation currently covers offences aggravated by a victim’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

According to the figures, sexual orientation-aggravated crime was the second most common type of hate crime, with 1,112 charges reported last year – an increase of 3% on the previous year.

Scotland’s Lord Advocate James Wolffe described such crimes as an “affront” to the community.

He 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.”

He added: “It is encouraging that many victims of hate crime have the confidence to report this type of offending and we would encourage more to do so.”

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