Hate Crime Charter

The Hate Crime Charter aims to encourage transport providers, members of the public and other services to support a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime on Scotland’s public transport network.

Disability Equality Scotland developed the Hate Crime Charter in partnership with Transport Scotland, the South-East Scotland Transport Partnership (SESTran), People First (Scotland), Police Scotland and British Transport Police.

SEStran logo


The Hate Crime Charter is supported by our campaign poster, which incorporates a series of easy read images to highlight the key messages of the Charter.

The campaign is intended to reach all transport providers in Scotland and their passengers, communicating the importance of recognising incidents of hate crime and reporting these, which can be done anonymously.

On this page we also provide information on how to recognise and report hate crime.

Hate Crime Charter


View the transport providers that have pledged their support to the Hate Crime Charter on our supporters page. Each transport provider involved believes everyone has the right to travel safely and any aggressive, bullying or harassing behaviour will not be tolerated on their services. Examples of hate crime will be taken seriously, and incidents will be reported to Police Scotland.

If you represent a transport provider and you would like to pledge your support, complete the contact form on the supporters page and we will provide details on how you can get involved.

Video: Hate Crime Charter – Don’t Ignore It. Report it.

Watch our short animated video to support the launch of the Hate Crime Charter. Any aggressive, bullying or harassing behaviour will not be tolerated on public transport. We want everyone to feel safe to travel.

What is Hate Crime?

Police Scotland say that hate crime is an offence.  An offence is something that is against the law.

If you are a victim of crime and you or someone else thinks it was because of your

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity

this is a hate crime.

Examples of what Hate Crime

Here are some examples of what Police Scotland say is a hate crime:

  • verbal abuse like name-calling and nasty jokes
  • harassment
  • bullying or intimidation by people of any age
  • physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
  • threats of violence
  • hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages or hate mail
  • online abuse, for example, on Facebook or Twitter
  • writing or sharing stories or posters that say nasty things about someone
  • harm or damage to things such as your home, or a pet or car
  • graffiti
  • deliberately setting fire to your property
  • throwing rubbish into a garden
  • making a false complaint against you.

How to Report Hate Crime

All hate crimes and incidents should be reported.

By reporting, you will help people like the police, local councils, and housing associations to see patterns of behaviour locally, and help to show areas that could be a problem within your community.

There are lots of ways you can report a hate crime.  You can report if you are the victim, or if you have seen this happen to someone else, or if someone asks you to report it for them.

Two people reporting a crime to a Police Officer

999 Emergency Number

  • In an emergency you should always dial 999
  • If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergencySMS first. See the Police Scotland website for details.

101 Non-Emergency Number

  • If the crime is not an emergency, call 101

British Transport Police 61016 Text Service

  • Report non-emergency incidents when on a train or at a railway station by texting British Transport Police on 61016

Contact your local police station

  • You can speak to the police in confidence. You do not have to tell them your personal details, but any investigation and ability to prosecute the offender(s) is limited if the police cannot contact you. Contact your local police force, either by telephone or by visiting your local police station. Details on how to contact your local police force can be found on the Police Scotland website

Report online

3rd party reporting centres

  • Sometimes victims/witnesses of Hate Crime do not feel comfortable reporting to the Police and may be more comfortable reporting it to someone they are familiar with.
  • 3rd party reporting centres

Changes due to COVID-19

  • Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a number of locations offering 3rd party reporting opportunities are not open to the general public, but many are providing members of the public with the choice of contacting them  using telephone or email. In these instances, advice and support can be offered remotely.

Police Scotland – BSL Video

  • Sergeant Grant Robertson uses British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate information about hate crime and how to report.

Disability Safety Hub

For more information about disability hate crime and information to keep you safe, visit the Disability Safety Hub.

Disability Safety Hub logo featuring an orange heart