Hate Crime

One of the core outcomes of the Accessible Travel Framework is to ensure disabled people feel comfortable and safe using public transport – this includes being free from hate crime, bullying and harassment when travelling.

What is a Hate Crime?

Police Scotland define a hate crime as any criminal offence committed against an individual or property that is motivated by a person’s hatred of someone because of his or her actual or perceived race, religion, transgender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

Here are some ways that you can report a hate crime

  • Phone 999 – Emergency Calls
  • Phone 101 – Non Emergency Calls
  • Email – Contact via police Scotland
  • BT 999 SMS – Text Relay Via BT for deaf and hard of hearing people
  • Minicom and text relay – 1 800 1 101
  • Ask the police – Via Police Scotland Website https://www.askthe.scottish.police.uk/content/@1.htm

Hate Crime Reporting Centres

Sometimes a person may feel more comfortable reporting a hate crime to someone other than the police. There are Hate Crime Reporting Centres all over Scotland, and these can make it easier for someone to report a hate crime, simply by talking to someone who will report the crime to the police for them.

Hate Crime Charter

Disability Equality Scotland is working with Stagecoach East, First Scotland East and ScotRail to pilot a new Hate Crime Charter.

The aim of the Pilot is to encourage transport providers, members of the public and other services to support a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime.

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.

The Charter was piloted in the following locations:

  • First Bus East – Bus services around Bannockburn in Stirlingshire
  • ScotRail – Train stations on the Fife Circle line
  • Stagecoach East – Bus services around Leven

Commenting on the Charter, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:

“Every disabled person in Scotland should be able to travel with choice, dignity and opportunity as outlined in our Accessible Transport Framework

Tackling hate crime is a priority area for us as we strive to improve accessibility and I would encourage transport providers and members of the public to get behind this charter so that everyone can feel safe and secure when using public transport to go about their daily lives.”

Disability Equality Scotland Operations Manager Emma Scott said:

“Our public consultations indicated that people would rather travel on a service that shows its commitment to tackling hate crime, than not. This Charter provides clear and common standards for challenging hate crime, encouraging reporting with the overall aim of prevention of hate crime incidents on the public transport network.  We’re delighted so many transport partners are engaged in this process which will help everyone feel comfortable and safe to travel in Scotland.”

I Am Me Scotland – www.iammescotland.co.uk

I Am Me Scotland is a community charity which works in partnership with Police Scotland to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime and make communities safer for all. Disability Hate Crime is recognised as one of the most under reported types of crime in the UK, with an estimated 97% currently going unreported.

I Am Me and Police Scotland have worked in partnership to develop the award winning ‘Keep Safe Initiative’ which aims to create safe places for disabled or vulnerable people to use to seek assistance, if required, while out in the community. There are currently just under 1,000 Keep Safe places across Scotland including a range of business, shops, libraries, cafes, community buildings and so much more! You can find a list of all Keep Safe places on the free ‘Keep Safe Scotland’ App.

The Keep Safe Scotland App can use your current location to find your nearest Keep Safe place, particularly useful for anyone who may be lost or in an unfamiliar environment. It also encourages safe independent travel by enabling users to plan a travel route in advance and highlight all Keep Safe places along the way.

A Keep Safe card is also available for free for anyone who feels they benefit from it. The card can be folded behind a bus pass or inserted neatly inside a wallet/lanyard. Keep Safe cards detail an individual’s name, health conditions/disability, communication requirements, emergency contact details and any other helpful information that someone may need to know to provide assistance. To request a card please contact iamme@renfrewshire.gov.uk

I Am Me also raise awareness of disability, bullying and hate crime in primary schools and secondary schools through various educational resources. To find out more about the bespoke educational packages or face-face inputs available please contact iamme@renfrewshire.gov.uk

People First (Scotland) – www.peoplefirstscotland.org

People First (Scotland) have produced a video about recognising hate crime: