Disability hate crime on the rise

THE number of hate crimes against disabled Scots increased during the last year with a 20 per cent surge in such incidents linked to the victim’s disability.

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL

There were 177 charges reported in 2014-15 with an “aggravation of prejudice relating to disability”, 20 percent more than in 2013-14, the report Hate Crime in Scotland found.

However, the number of charges reported in all other hate crime categories fell, with racial crimes down 9 per cent on last year, the lowest level since 2003-2004.

Racial crime remained the most commonly reported hate crime, with 3,785 charges.

The number of religiously aggravated offences reported stood at 569, down by 4 per cent and falling to their lowest level since 2004-2005.

Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, responding to the figures, said: “I’ve previously stated that I believed disability-related crimes were under reported compared to other hate crimes and feel that is still the case. Following a lot of hard work and interaction with the disabled community, however, this is beginning to change with an increase of 20% on last year. I would hope that in the disabled community increased confidence in police and prosecutors will encourage more people to report these crimes in future.”