Hate Crime Awareness Week 2017
Hate Crime Awareness Week 2017 takes place between 14 and 21 October 2017. To mark the occasion, Central Scotland Regional Equality Council will be at various locations in the Forth Valley area to provide information to community members on hate crime and hate crime reporting, including at Falkirk High train station on Tuesday 17 October 2017 and at Stirling bus station on Friday 20 October 2017.
Do you know what a hate crime is? Or how to report it if you have been a victim of or witness to a hate crime?
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is an act of violence or hostility directed at a person or group because of who they are or who someone thinks they are, on the basis of their race, sexual orientation, religion/faith, disability or transgender identity.
Do I have to be hit for it to be a hate crime?
No, you don’t need to be hit for it to be a hate crime. A hate crime can also be verbal abuse, swearing, threats, intimidation, harassment, bullying, physical abuse, graffiti, vandalism or online abuse, other things that can make you feel terrible that are directed against a person or group of persons because of their race, sexual orientation, religion/faith, disability or transgender identity.
How do I report hate crime?
You can report hate crime either as a victim or as a witness.
There are a number of ways you can do this. You can report hate crime in person at your local police station, or by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 for a non-emergency incident.
CSREC also operates as a free and confidential Third Party Reporting Centre, which means you can tell us about the incident and we will report this to Police Scotland on your behalf. The benefit of this is that, when you might not feel comfortable speaking to the police about what happened directly, you can do this through a Third Party Reporting Centre which can offer you support and advice at the same time.
You can also report a hate crime anonymously through a Third Party Reporting Centre such as CSREC.
Independent review of hate crime legislation
The Scottish Government has appointed Lord Bracadale to lead an independent review into hate crime legislation in Scotland, which is currently underway. Lord Bracadale is looking at whether hate crime legislation needs to cover more characteristics (such as age, gender, socio-economic status and refugee status), and whether legislation can be made simpler, including possibly replacing the various pieces of current hate crime legislation with a single hate crime act.
A consultation exercise has been launched for members of the public to provide their thoughts on these points, which you can respond to any time up until 23 November 2017 here: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/hate-crime/independent-review-of-hate-crime-legislation/
If you would like to get in touch with Central Scotland Regional Equality Council (CSREC) as a Third Party Reporting Centre to report a hate crime or hate incident, please call us on 01324 610 950 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.
You can find more information about the different ways of reporting hate crime here: www.csrec.org.uk/report-hate-crime/