Crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief are hate crimes and should be reported to the police.
Hate crimes can include:
- threatening behaviour
- verbal abuse or insults including name-calling
- damage to property
- encouraging others to commit hate crimes
- online abuse on sites like Facebook or Twitter
Report hate crime to the police
If the crime isn't an emergency, call 101 or contact your local police station.
You can also report hate crime online.
The Victim Information and Advice Service can also help if you're a victim of hate crime, by:
- giving you information on how the criminal justice system works and what you can expect
- keeping you updated with the progress of your case
- putting you in touch with other support services for victims and their families
If you don't want to speak to the police
You can report hate crime without contacting the police through a third party reporting centre – like a housing association or victim support office. Trained staff can help you submit a report to the police (if that's what you want), or they can do it on your behalf.
You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report the crime anonymously. They'll pass the information about the crime to the police.
Whether you decide to report a hate crime or not – or you haven't decided yet – you can still get information, and emotional and practical help and support from Victim Support Scotland.
Victim Support Scotland
0800 160 1985 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm)
As a victim of crime, you have rights. The Victims' Code for Scotland sets out these rights and who to contact for help and advice.