People who experience or witness hate crime are being encouraged to report all incidents as part of a new campaign.
Speak Up Against Hate Crime has been launched by the Scottish Government to help stop abuse motivated by prejudice or discrimination and work towards a positive outcome in the victim’s case and assist in preventing acts of hate happening to anyone else.
No crime or incident is too small to report - every incident reported assists Police Scotland to identify areas of concern, investigate it thoroughly and deal robustly with offenders to help prevent future crimes.
Current statistics show that there were more than 4,000 racially aggravated charges of hate crime reported (4,012) in 2012-13 and that across incidents relating to religion, disability and sexual orientation there was a significant rise in reported crimes.
Incidents of hate crime can include habitual taunting, vandalism, online bullying and physical violence – but reporting it is making a big difference.
The Scottish Government believes hate crime is unacceptable and everyone deserves to be treated fairly, regardless of age, disability, gender, gender identity/reassignment, race, religion/belief or sexual orientation.
In order to report incidents of a hate crime you can: phone the police by dialling 101 or 999 in an emergency, attend any police office in person, complete a hate crime reporting form online or use a third-party reporting site.