The Scottish Government defines Hate Crime as crime committed against a person or property that is motivated by ‘malice or ill-will towards an identifiable social group’.
It is likely that you are a victim of a hate crime if you believe that someone has targeted you because of their prejudice against an aspect of your identity.
In Scotland, the law recognises hate crimes as crimes motivated by prejudice based on:
- sexual orientation
- transgender identity
You do not need to be a member of a minority community to be a victim of hate crime. The law is quite clear that the identity of the victim is irrelevant as to whether something is a hate crime or not. The motivation of the perpetrator is the key factor in defining a hate crime.
Hate Crimes can take a number of forms, including, but not limited to:
- physical assault
- damage to property e.g. graffiti, arson, vandalism
- fly tipping or dumping rubbish at someone’s door
- putting dangerous materials through a letterbox
- intimidating or threatening behaviour including obscene calls or gestures
- deliberate dog fouling
- offensive literature such as letters, leaflets, posters
- verbal abuse or insults including name-calling
- online bullying and abuse
- emotional, psychological and financial abuse including threats, blackmail and extortion