Reported by The Scotsman – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
Campaigners have urged the Scottish Government to continue making it easier for victims of hate crime to come forward as new figures revealed the number of reported offences related to sexual orientation has risen by five per cent in the last year.
Racism remains the most common type of hate crime north of the Border, figures released today by the Crown Office revealed, with 2,880 charges in 2018-19 – a decline of 10 per cent year-on-year.
This is 12 per cent below the previous year and the lowest number since consistent statistics became available in 2003-04.
There were 1,176 sexual orientation hate crimes in 2018-19, up five per cent in a year, continuing a year-on-year rise since this became a criminal offence in 2010 – excepting 2014-15.
Crimes aggravated by religious prejudice fell to 529, their lowest since 2004-05, and an 18 per cent drop 2017-18.
Disability hate crime charges rose marginally by one per cent to 289 between 2017-18 and 2018-19 and are at their highest since the legislation was introduced in 2010 but are still believed to be under-reported.
Transgender hate crime fell from 52 to 40 in the same period.
A spokesman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission told The Scotsman there had been improvements in how victims can report hate crimes, but more work needed to be done.
“Many victims of hate crime still do not feel confident to report what has happened to them to the authorities,” they said. “There is a risk that in many areas, incidents are still going unreported.
“Any incident of hate crime is unacceptable.”