Published: 10 Jun 2016
Commenting today on the Scottish Government’s release of new hate crime reporting figures for 2014 to 2015, Alastair Pringle, Director of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland said:
“It might seem odd to be welcoming an increase in hate crime against LGBT communities but I think this reflects an increased confidence in reporting homophobic incidents to the police, rather than necessarily a rise in homophobia in Scotland.
"Over the last year the Equality and Human Rights Commission has been supporting the National LGBT Hate Crime Partnership to encourage reporting in Scotland and this seems to be paying off.
"Scotland is now viewed as being one of the most LGBT friendly countries in world and, whilst homophobia is clearly unacceptable, it’s heartening that so many people are now challenging and reporting the abuse rather than just suffering in silence.
"That said, 1,000 incidents a year is completely unacceptable and a sustained effort is needed to identify the perpetrators and to eliminate this sort of prejudice from Scottish society. We'd encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate crime, or has witnessed it occurring, to report it.”
Notes to editors
- The Scottish Government released new data on reported hate crime and prosecutions this morning. This data shows a 20% rise in homophobic incidents, a 14% rise in disability related incidents, a smaller rise in religiously motivated incidents and a small drop in racially motivated reporting. In total 1,020 homophobic crimes were reported to the police in 2014-15, an increase of 20% on last year.
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission has been working with and funding the National LGBT Hate Crime Partnership, which aims to increase the reporting of homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic hate crimes and incidents and improve the support available to those targeted.
- The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It operates independently to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and is accredited by the UN as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institution.