In The South

Scottish equality charity welcomes hate crime report

Gary Hart October 15, 2016

Equality Network welcomes the publication of the report of the Scottish Government’s Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion.

web-600The Equality Network the national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality charity is currently surveying LGBTI people’s experiences of hate crime in Scotland.

Interim results show that:

♦ 63% of LGBTI people have been the target of a hate crime, the majority of which happened in the last year.
♦ 29% of LGBTI people have been physically attacked because they are LGBTI.

Hannah Pearson, the Equality Network’s Policy Coordinator, said: “We welcome the report’s recognition that hate crime can only be fully tackled by addressing prejudice and improving community cohesion more widely, including through school education. All schools should be inclusive and welcoming of diversity, including LGBTI people. As the report says, we need to develop teachers’ capacity around this, involve young people, and ensure the school inspections framework encourages this.”

The report recognises the central role that Police Scotland have in tackling hate crime.  Interim results from the Equality Network’s hate crime survey reveal that 70% of LGBTI people who have experienced a hate crime, did not report the incident(s) to the police.

Earlier this year the Equality Network provided LGBTI hate crime training to over 90 police officers.

Tim Hopkins
Tim Hopkins

Tim Hopkins, Director of the Equality Network, added: “Following the training we provided to police across Scotland, we hope that a national network of LGBTI Liaison Police Officers will be established, and that training can be rolled out for other police. This will help give people greater confidence to report hate crime”.

The report highlights three areas that need particular focus:

♦ public transport
♦ the internet (in particular social media) and
♦ the workplace

Interim figures from the survey reveal that:

♦ 22% of LGBTI people have experienced verbal abuse on public transport because they are LGBTI
♦ 22% have been subject to online abuse and
♦ 17% have been abused at work

A gay man from the north-east of Scotland responding to the Equality Network’s survey said: “I have received online abuse for being gay, have been harassed and teased at work and had physical threats and eggs thrown at me on the train because of my sexual orientation”.

Hannah Pearson said: “Attitudes towards the LGBTI community in Scotland have greatly improved over the years, but hate crime is still a serious concern for many LGBTI people. We welcome the twenty-two recommendations from the Independent Advisory Group, and look forward to continuing to work with both the Scottish Government and Police Scotland to ensure they are implemented fully”.

The Equality Network’s hate crime survey of LGBTI people in Scotland is still open for responses.

To complete the survey, click here: