A new report from the Crown Office has revealed that instances of hate crime related to disability have risen by a staggering 50% in Scotland, with 284 charges of disability prejudice in 2017-18.
The figure of crimes reported has risen from 188 to 284, with almost one of five reported crimes taking place in Glasgow (55). There were 30 reported crimes in Edinburgh, 18 in Kilmarnock, 14 in Falkirk and 12 in Jedburgh.
It is thought however that this may not be entirely due to a rise in the number of instances of disability-related hate crime, but that people are more aware of the crime, and have better resources to both identify and report it, given that in the period 2010/11, only 48 crimes of the same nature were reported in Scotland.
The Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, said: “The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Scotland’s independent public prosecution service, is committed to tackling hate crime.
“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.
“It is encouraging that many victims of hate crime have the confidence to report this type of offending and we would encourage more to do so.
“People who live in Scotland, regardless of their personal or social circumstances, can be assured that they live in a just society and that they will be protected from crime – and in particular from hate crime.”