Hate Crime Scotland

Working in Partnership for a safer Scotland

If you need immediate help always call 999


  • Hate Crime Awareness Week, 18 – 24 October 2021.
  • In Scotland the number of charges of an offence aggravated by prejudice related to sexual orientation has trebled since 2010
  • In 2019-20 there were an average of 15 hate crime charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal every day.
  • In 2019-20 an average of 107 hate crime charges were reported to the Procurator Fiscal every week.
  • Since 2010, a total of 53 318 hate crime charges have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland.
  • In 2019-20 54% of all hate crime charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland were racially motivated.
  • In 2019 -20, 26% of all hate crime charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland were motivated by sexual orientation.
  • In 2019/20, 38% of all religious Hate Crime charges in Scotland was reported to the Glasgow Fiscal Office.
  • In 2019/20, 24% of all Hate Crime charges in Scotland were reported to the Glasgow Fiscal Office.
  • According to a 2017 Stonewall survey, 1 in 5 LGBT people in Scotland had experienced a hate incident in the previous 12 months.
  • In 2019-20, the greatest proportion of hate crime charges motivated by disability in Scotland, were reported to the Glasgow Fiscal office .
  • Disabled children are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled children.
  • Data from the Glasgow Household Survey suggests that only 30% of hate crimes are reported to the Police.


This website provides information and resources relating to crimes motivated by prejudice, or hate crime. It is maintained by Glasgow City Council on behalf of the Glasgow Hate Crime Working Group. While some of the information on the website relates to Scotland as a whole, this website’s main focus is on Glasgow.

Crimes motivated by prejudice have a damaging effect on individuals and communities. Social isolation, feelings of anger, shame and embarrassment, mistrust, depression, fearfulness and anxiety are all common reactions for victims of hate crime. These in turn can impact on many areas of life including employment, education, health, housing, relationships and ability to fully participate in society.

The harm of hate crime goes further and we recognise that the impact of hate crime extends beyond the individual victims who experience the hostility, to whole communities and social groups. Good social relations generally are undermined by hate crimes, as they create mistrust and suspicion between communities. This makes hate crime an issue for every service and every community.

The Scottish Government has made it justice strategy priority to enable communities to be safe and supportive, where individuals exercise their rights and responsibilities. This means that promoting good relations and tackling hate crime should be a priority for public agencies such as local authorities, as well as Police Scotland. We are all responsible for working together on the government’s priorities for justice.

What Is hatecrimescotland.org?

Glasgow City Council is responsible for this website. Along with our partners, we are working to increase awareness of hate crime, prevent hate crime from happening and encourage reporting when it does happen.

Glasgow City Council has a focus on the city of Glasgow, however the website includes information focused on hate crime that is useful nationally.

The website aims to:

  • Provide Victims and Witnesses with information and practical help
  • Improve Hate Crime Reporting
  • Promote Third Party Reporting
  • Locate research, policy documents and publicly available statistics, in a single access point
  • Give access to hate crime awareness raising and information resources
  • Improve networking around hate crime

What to do if you are the victim or witness to a hate crime

If you experience or witness an incident that you perceive to be motivated by prejudice, we strongly encourage you to report it to the police. No matter how trivial or unimportant you may think it is, the police will take your complaint seriously and will record an incident when you choose to report it. You can report a non-emergency incident to the police:


What is Third Party Reporting?

Many people, for various reasons, are reluctant to report crime directly to the police. For hate crime victims and witnesses, there are often additional barriers to reporting. Third Party Reporting has been put in place to help victims and witnesses of hate crime overcome these barriers. You can report a hate crime without contacting the police in person, through a Third Party Reporting Centre.

Third Party Reporting Centres are safe and supportive places where you can discuss an incident or concern. If you want to report an incident to the police, the Third Party Reporting Centre can do this on your behalf. The police act on this as if they had received the report directly from you. You can find out more about Third Party Reporting on our Report It page

What happens next?

The police will record the incident that you have reported and then carry out an initial investigation to determine whether the incident falls under the legal definition of a crime or breaches any statutes. If it does, it will then be recorded as a crime. The police will then carry out a crime investigation. This will involve interviewing victims, witnesses and suspects, looking at other sources of evidence such as CCTV footage or forensic evidence. If they believe they have enough evidence to support a prosecution they submit a report to the local Procurator Fiscal.

The Procurator Fiscal (PF or Fiscal) works for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), which is the body responsible for prosecuting crime in Scotland. The Procurator Fiscal (PF) considers the police report and decides if there is sufficient evidence to proceed. If there is, the Procurator Fiscal will then decide what, if any, action it is appropriate to take.

Actions range from prosecution in court, direct measures such as warnings, fiscal fines, compensation offers and social work diversion. The Procurator Fiscal can also decide to take no action. When this happens, the victim can ask for an explanation of the decision.

If court proceedings are appropriate, the Procurator Fiscal will decide which court these should be taken in. This decision will depend on the nature of the offence, the sentencing powers of the respective courts and whether the accused has a criminal record.