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Scottish LGBTI Hate Crime Report

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The Scottish LGBTI Hate Crime Report is Scotland’s most comprehensive study of hate crime against LGBTI people. Based on a detailed survey of 1,445 people in Scotland, the report reveals shocking statistics.

(To order printed copies please use the form at the bottom of this page).

The report was published in October 2017, in advance of National Hate Crime Awareness Week which runs between 14th-21st October.

Key findings of the research include:

Prevalence of hate crime

  • 65% of lesbian respondents had been a target of a hate crime at some point in their lives.
  • 66% of gay male respondents had been a target of a hate crime.
  • 53% of bisexual respondents had been a target of a hate crime.
  • 80% of trans respondents had been a target of a hate crime.
  • 77% of the relatively small number of intersex respondents had been a target of a hate crime.
  • 90% of respondents who had been a target of hate crime experienced it two or more times, and nearly a third (30%) experienced hate crime more than ten times.

Nature of hate crime

  • The types of hate crime experienced included being targeted by verbal abuse (95% of respondents who experienced hate crimes experienced this), threats (79%), physical attack (50%), online abuse (36%) and sexual assault (21%).
  • The most common location in which hate crime had been experienced was in the street, followed by public venues such as a pub or café, and public transport.

Reporting hate crime

  • 71% of people who experienced hate crimes did not report any of the incidents to the police. Only 5% reported every incident they experienced. Reasons for not reporting included people thinking that it was not serious enough, believing nothing would be done, hearing of previous, poor experiences of reporting, and fear of the consequences.
  • Of those who did report a hate crime they experienced to the police, 41% were satisfied with the police response and 39% were dissatisfied. Reasons for dissatisfaction included not being taken seriously, receiving an unsympathetic response and / or lack of LGBTI awareness from police officers.

Prosecution of hate crime

  • Where respondents knew that a hate crime they reported had been referred to the Procurator Fiscal (PF), only 25% were satisfied with the interaction they had with the PF. 51% were dissatisfied. Reasons for dissatisfaction included a lack of information or communication, as well as perceived lack of support from the PF.
  • Where a case went to court, only 25% were satisfied with the court process. 58% were dissatisfied. Reasons for dissatisfaction included a lack of information or communication, a stressful and unpleasant court experience, and lack of awareness from the sheriff of LGBTI issues.
  • Where the perpetrators were found guilty, 30% of respondents were satisfied with the sentence that they received, while 55% were dissatisfied. The main reason for dissatisfaction was that the sentence appeared too light. Some respondents suggested that education would be more effective than a sentence like a fine.

Perceptions of hate crime and the law

  • Over a third (36%) of respondents felt that LGBTI people do not have enough protection from the law in relation to hate crime. 28% felt that the protection provided by the law is enough, while 36% were unsure.
  • 37% of respondents said that the introduction in 2010 of laws in Scotland covering anti-LGBTI hate crimes had made them feel safer, while 30% said this had not made them feel safer.
  • 45% of respondents feel less at risk of hate crime now than five years ago. 42% feel the same risk, and 13% feel more at risk than five years ago.

Although the report makes for difficult reading, the Equality Network hope that people will find it informative and useful, and together, we can work in tackling all forms of hate crime. In the report there are a range of recommendations to ensure better responses to hate crime, to encourage reporting of hate crimes to police, and to prevent hate crime from happening in the first place.

The Equality Network would like to thank all of the individuals who participated in the survey, for taking the time to share their experiences and views. Their contributions will help to inform the work of the Equality Network and the Scottish Trans Alliance to improve the handling of hate crime in Scotland.

If you have experienced a hate crime, or any other crime, you can report it to Police Scotland by calling 101 or via their website.

In an emergency always dial 999.

If you want to speak to a specially trained LGBTI Liaison Police Officer, you can request to do so. You can also ask that you are visited by officers in plain clothes if you prefer, and if you feel safer meeting somewhere other than your home, a local library for example, the police can arrange this for you.

Download a PDF copy of the full report here.


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