What is hate crime?

The law in Scotland recognises hate crime as any crime, be that verbal or physical, that is understood by the victim to be motivated (wholly or partly) by malice or ill will towards a social group. 

Those five groups, or ‘protected characteristics’, covered by the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 and Equality Act 2010 are:

  • Disability
  • Race or ethnicity 
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Transgender identity

Hate crimes can be committed against a person or property and could include things like:

  • Threatening behaviour
  • Verbal abuse or insults including name-calling
  • Assaults
  • Robbery
  • Damage to property
  • Encouraging others to commit hate crimes
  • Harassment
  • Online abuse on social media

Have you met the Hate Monster?

Reporting a hate crime

The University does not have the power to determine if a hate crime has occurred or to investigate if it has.

If you wish to formally report a crime, please go to our dedicated page: Reporting to external agencies.

However, the University can provide other support to members of its community who have been a victim of a hate crime, or we can talk to you about your options for reporting and accessing support. To speak to one of our team, you can contact us via Report & Support.

Making a third party report

Some victims and witnesses may find reporting directly to the Police difficult or something they are not comfortable with. 

Third Party Reporting has been put in place to help alleviate these barriers and encourage victims and witnesses of hate crime to report to Third Party Reporting Centres where staff have been trained in taking reports and supporting individuals through the process. These trained staff are then able to submit a report to the police on the behalf of the victim or witness- if they choose to do so.

Not sure where your local Third Party Reporting Centre is in Scotland? Visit Police Scotland for a list by area.

For those in the rest of the UK first find your local policing team then follow their guidance to find a list for your area.

George the Poet on hate crime