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Monday, May 20, 2024

Justice Secretary Responds to Hate Crime Statistics

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Justice Secretary Angela Constance has responded to publication by Police Scotland of data in relation to the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021, which commenced on 1 April 2024.

Justice Secretary Angela Constance said:

“These statistics show that of the significant number of online hate crime reports made to Police Scotland since 1 April, almost half came in on the day the new legislation commenced, with the number of daily complaints falling by 90% within the first week.

“These comparison statistics show how vital tackling hate crime is and how it is not a new issue for Scotland’s police and justice system.

“Police Scotland has been clear that demand continues to be managed within its contact centres and the impact on frontline policing has been minimal.

“I want to thank police staff and officers for their dedication and professionalism in their work as this law came into force and for all they do, day in and day out, to keep our communities safe.

“On a visit to Age Scotland’s Scottish Ethnic Minority Older People Forum, I heard first-hand from those with direct experience of hatred and prejudice about the traumatic effect this can have on their lives.

“The Hate Crime Act does not prevent people expressing controversial, challenging or offensive views – nor does it seek to stifle criticism or rigorous debate in any way, while the right to freedom of expression is built into the Act.

“It does however help to tackle the harm caused by hatred and prejudice, and provide greater protections for people in society and communities who face hatred just because of who they are – and we should all want that.”

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