Hate has no home in Scotland: new campaign by the Scottish government tackles hate crimes

The Scottish government, in collaboration with Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), has launched the ‘Hate has no home’ educational campaign.

Launched alongside Hate Crime Awareness week, the campaign is hoping to encourage people to stand up to and report hate crimes.

“We all need to play our part to eradicate hate crime, which has no place in Scotland,” said Equalities Secretary and Scottish National Party politician Angela Constance at a press conference.

“‘Hate has no home’ encourages and empowers people to recognise hate crime and report it, stopping this discrimination at its source. That is particularly important when people are bystanders – no one should be a passive witness when one of our fellow citizens is attacked because of who they are.”

Between property damage, cyber bullying, or verbal or physical abuse, perpetrators of hate crimes usually target their victims based on identity. Hate criminals are motivated by prejudices based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. Last year alone, there were 5,300 cases of hate crimes reported in Scotland, but many incidents that do occur remain unreported.

Police Scotland is encouraging people who know about or experience hate crimes to report them either directly through an online form or through one of over 300 authorised third party reporting centers

‘Hate has no home in Scotland’ is looking to raise hate crime awareness through digital advertising, social media, and bus and train posters. The website provides a FAQ section that details exactly what constitutes a hate crime, action steps for victims and witnesses of hate crimes, and how to help. Launched in partnership with stakeholders including LGBT Youth Scotland, Mental Health Foundation, Interfaith Scotland, and the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights, the campaign hopes to spread message of zero tolerance for abuse based on prejudice.

Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, of Police Scotland Safer Communities, stated in a press release, “People of all races, religions, ethnicities, of any sexual orientation or with any disability should be able to live their lives free from hate or harassment.

“Hate crime is underreported, we want to change that and we are asking people not to be bystanders.”

The Edinburgh University Students’ Association also assists students of the University of Edinburgh who confront hate crime and encourages them to report incidents to the third party reporting site on campus.

“The Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Advice Place can support any student who has experienced a hate crime or hate incident, and can also support students if they decide to report this to the police,”, Vice President Welfare, Esther Dominy, told The Student. “The Advice Place is a Third Party Reporting Centre, which means students can report a crime through the Advice Place without having to go to the police directly.”

For emergencies, Police Scotland recommends dialing 999 to report via phone; in non-emergency situations, dial 101. Hate crimes may also be reported in person at police stations.

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