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Statement on Reported Hate Crime Levels

Out for Independence rejects the minimisation of the levels of reported hate crime in Scotland that circulated yesterday on social media.

Hate crime is in fact underreported; HMICS found in 2021 that the scale of hate crime is not currently understood by Police Scotland, and that it is both underreported and that reports to third parties do not always reach police.

We reject in the strongest possible terms the insinuation that reported hate crimes that do not result in charges or conviction do not reflect real incidents of hatred, violence, and victimisation.

There is nothing feminist about disbelieving survivors, using the same language that is used to deny survivors of serious sexual assaults; a crime for which less than 6% of reported cases result in a conviction.

The increase in hate crime against LGBTQ+ people, especially trans people, has been particularly steep. This reflects a media and political environment in which it has become acceptable to target, harass, and defame members of our community.

The assault on our friend and former co-convenor Josh Mennie last night reflects this worrying trend. While hate crimes are allowed to continue unchecked and hostility is stoked against our community, LGBTQ+ people are not free to live our lives safely and fully.

It is unacceptable that one of our own MPs is downplaying the true scale of hate crimes and contributing to this hostile environment.

Last year we welcomed the introduction of Scotland’s new hate crimes legislation. We now call for a national strategy to make good on the promise of this legislation and tackle hate crime in all of its forms.