Hate crime is any incident committed against a person or property that is motivated by malice or ill-will towards people because of their sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, race, or religion.
Hate crimes and incidents can include (but are not limited to)
• physical assault
• obscene calls or gestures
• intimidating or threatening behaviour
• hate mail
• abusive name calling
Gay and bisexual men, including trans-men, unfortunately remain the targets of hate crime; however, many are still unwilling to report these incidents either through fear of reprisals from their attackers or because of unwillingness to make a face-to-face report to the police, as this would involve disclosing their sexual orientation or gender expression. MOT and Police Scotland are dedicated to improving their responses to these issues and are committed to working with individuals affected to improve responses, including supporting more people to report / making services more accessible.
Police Scotland takes hate crime very seriously and encourages members of all communities to report incidents to the police. Even if what happened does not amount to a crime they will still record it for information and future reference.
There are a number of ways to make it easier for you to report hate crime to the police. The following methods of reporting will not provide an immediate response and are for non-emergency situations:
• Phoning the police - non-emergency number 101
• Go to your local police station
• Report to a police officer in the street
• Report hate crime online
• Report anonymously - call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
• Use 3rd Party Reporting Service like MOT or Sexual Health Services
If it is an emergency and police attendance is immediately required to prevent injury to any person or to arrest offenders for a serious offence then dial 999.
For more information on reporting hate crime please visit the Police Scotland website
3rd Party Reporting?
3rd party reporting allows members of the public to report hate crimes in a positive, confidential and supportive environment without speaking to an officer directly. A report can be made by attending a "3rd Party Reporting Centre" and reporting the crime to a member of staff there. Both MOT and Sexual Health Services are trained in 3rd Party Reporting.
If a report is anonymous, enquiries will not be carried out to trace you as a matter of routine. However, it is important to know that some enquires may reveal your identity, which will be treated with confidence, and full support will be given.
If there is no evidence of a crime the information supplied is still important because it allows the Police to understand what is happening in our communities. It will allow them to identify an appropriate response. For example: if a number of incidents have occurred in the same area then the police may ensure officers increase their presence in the area.
If the person responsible is traced and there is enough evidence, then the person may be charged in relation to the offence and reported to the Procurator Fiscal, who will decide what action to take. On some occasions the person(s) responsible may not be traced.
Remember: if the matter is urgent always call 999!