Figures released by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have shown a slight increase in the number of people being charged with hate crimes, compared to 2019-20. 
According to the figures, there were 5,525 instances of a person being charged with a hate crime in 2020-21. The majority of these charges relate to hate crimes concerning race – however, there has been a marked increase in homophobic hate crimes over the past decade, as these now account for 29% of all hate crimes charged. 
Welcoming the increase, Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC said: “Scottish prosecutors are committed to tackling crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice.  Any victim of such offending should come forward and report it to the appropriate authorities…they can be confident that prosecutors will continue to respond to any such report robustly, appropriately and fairly.
Addressing the need for more people to come forward and report hate crimes, Justice Secretary Keith Brown said: “As we press ahead with the development of our new hate crime strategy, which will include implementation of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021, we will consider how we can continue to raise awareness and encourage reporting. We will also consider how to more effectively break down barriers to reporting.
“It is important that we continue to take steps to tackle hate crime, continue to raise awareness and work to reassure communities that we are doing everything we can to prevent hate crime in all its forms. Anyone who experiences or witnesses a hate crime should report it to the police or via a third party reporting centre.”