Message from Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie – 22 April 2020

The Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has brought unprecedented challenges for the public and communities. I want to reassure Scottish communities who may feel increasingly vulnerable due to the significant changes this pandemic brings to our way of life.

Police Scotland is fully committed to keeping people safe and protecting all our communities. I acknowledge the impact the above situation will have on both settled and traveller communities in the weeks and months ahead.

Police Scotland are active participants in Scottish Government Action Plan to improve the lives of Gypsy/Travellers (2019-2021), and recently produced Framework for supporting Gypsy/Traveller communities living on public and private sites, and unauthorised encampments in Scottish local authorities during COVID-19. The aim of both being to work in partnership to safeguard the rights, safety and wellbeing of the community.

Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of hate crime, as I acknowledge the harm this type of behaviour can have on people, their family and wider community. A hate crime may include name calling, harassment or physical attack towards people from a particular social group (or their property) motivated by prejudice or ill will. This includes race and presumed race (including Gypsy/Traveller Groups).

Should anyone experience or witness such an incident, I would urge you to report this to us by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency, or using our online hate crime reporting form on the Police Scotland website.

Other support agencies to report hate crime, or to gain further advice on your rights are available below: