A new anti-hate crime campaign has been launched in Scotland by the Scottish Government and Police Scotland, aiming to encourage the challenging and reporting of hate crimes across the country.

The campaign, called Dear Haters “embodies the inclusive society we want in Scotland,” says its website, focusing on the importance of human rights. It aims to celebrate the success already achieved, while recognising that work still needs to be done to achieve a fully inclusive society, including challenging attitudes towards hate and ensuring more hate crimes are reported.

“Despite the great progress made to date, discrimination and prejudice do still exist in Scotland. The Scottish Government continues to work hard to promote equality in Scotland, realising the full potential of human rights in all areas of life,” the One Scotland website says.

The campaign’s Dear Disablists posters will draw attention to the issue of disability hate crime, while others will concentrate on hate crimes committed on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

“Around one fifth of Scotland’s population – that’s one million people – define themselves as disabled,” states the campaign’s website. “Yet disabled people often experience higher levels of inequality compared to their non-disabled peers.”

It continued: “Hate crime statistics for 2013-14 reveal a 12% rise in offences aggravated by prejudice relating to disability. This can be attributed in part to an increased confidence among disabled people to report crimes. But disabled people’s organisations agree that this type of hate crime is still significantly underreported.”

Speaking on the campaign, a spokesperson from Inclusion Scotland said: “Inclusion Scotland is concerned that the numbers if reported disability hate crimes continues to rise. However, many more disability hate crimes go unreported.

“We hope that this new campaign will encourage more people who witness the abuse or harassment of disabled people to report these crimes to the police.”

Read the entire advert, which can be seen on bus stops and phone boxes across Scotland, below:

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