What is a hate crime?
A hate crime or incident is when somebody commits a crime against another person because of any disabilities they may have, their race or ethnicity, their religious beliefs, their sexual orientation or transgender identity.
A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. They could just be perceived to be, or be an ally of a particular group. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime.
What’s the difference between a hate crime and a hate incident?
When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. A criminal offence is something that breaks the law.
What would count as a hate incident?
There are many things that could count as a hate incident.
Verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes; physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting, threats of violence; hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages; online abuse for example on Facebook or Twitter; damage or graffiti to things such as your home, pet, vehicle.
What would count as a hate crime?
Hate crimes can include: threatening behaviour, assault, robbery, damage to property, encouraging others to commit hate crimes and harassment.
What information do I need to report a hate crime?
It's useful to have as much information about the person who committed the crime as possible, so try to note down details as soon as possible. This includes any injuries sustained by yourself or someone else. any insulting things said to you, and why you regard the attack as having been prejudiced against you.
Things that can be useful is their age, their clothing, their height and build as well as their gender. Any distinguishing features can also be helpful - their hair colour, whether they wore glasses, and tattoos they had, scars or birth marks. If a car was involved in an incident try to note down the model, colour and if possible the license plate number. If damage to your property has taken place remember to describe it and take photos of the damage caused.
Where can I report a hate crime?
You can report a hate crime or incident at your local police station, by calling Police Scotland on 101, or you can fill out a form online. If it's an emergency incident, call 999.
I saw a hate crime happen to someone else/someone told me about a hate crime that happened to them, can I report it?
Yes you can. Check out this list of Third Party Reporting Centres across Scotland.
Find out more abut bullying on the Bullying landing page.