Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP, Keith Brown, has welcomed the news that The Scottish Government has joined with Police Scotland and the Crown Office (COPFS) to launch a new campaign against hate crime – ‘Hate has no home in Scotland’.
This campaign launches during Hate Crime Awareness Week and will run until the 26 November. It aims to increase public understanding of what hate crime is, and how to report it for both those who personally experience it and bystanders who witness hate crimes.
More than 5,300 cases of hate crime were reported in Scotland over the past year, with many other incidents going unreported.
Keith Brown said: “Scotland is a country that accepts all races, religions, ethnicities and people of any sexual orientation or with any disability. It is therefore of the upmost importance that hate crime is eradicated in Scotland and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure this.
“The ‘Hate has no home in Scotland’ campaign will encourage and empower people to recognise hate crime and report it. That is particularly important when people are bystanders as no one should be a passive witness when one of our fellow citizens is attacked because of who they are.
“I also hope that this campaign will help people understand the devastating impact hate crime can have on victim’s lives. Being a victim of a hate crime can change a person’s whole life, it can make you nervous about leaving your home and it can affect your work and personal relationships.”
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, Police Scotland, Safer Communities, said: “People of all races, religions, ethnicities, of any sexual orientation or with any disability should be able to live their lives free from hate or harassment. There is no place for hate in Scotland and it is our communities, who will lead the way in tackling hate crime with the support of police, the Government and other partners.
“Hate crime is under reported, we want to change that and we are asking people not to be bystanders. Speak out, help us tackle hate crime. By working together we can drive prejudice out of our communities and out of Scotland.”
Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC said: “Crime motivated by hatred is not only a wrong against the individual, but is an affront to our collective values as a community, creating division and fear. That is why we treat it so seriously and why we will continue to do so.
“The prosecution service, along with our colleagues in Police Scotland and other agencies, plays an essential role in creating an environment in which all people who live in Scotland, regardless of their personal or social circumstances, can have confidence that they live in a just society and that they will be protected from crime.”