Concerns have been voiced by a prominent government watchdog over Police Scotland’s understanding of both the “nature and scale” of hate crime.
A report released by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) illustrated a worrying combination of poor training, outdated IT systems and inefficient data collection. This has lead to key failings in Police Scotland’s reporting and investigating systems – at a time when hate crimes are significantly increasing. 
According to the Chief Inspector of HMICS, Gill Imery, there were surprising aspects that arose from the report: “What we did not anticipate was that issues of diversity and equality would be magnified during the time frame of this inspection due to the unequal impact of Covid-19 on different parts of society and by an increase in protests around the world about racism.”
In addressing the outcome of the report, Mrs Imery expressed concern over the overall direction of Police Scotland’s response to hate crime: “There was evidence of good practice at national and local levels, with the local policing operational response to reported instances of crime being particularly strong. Officers working in the safer communities roles at local and national level have developed effective partnerships and a deep knowledge of diversity issues. However there is no coherent overall strategy that underpins efforts to prevent and detect hate crime.”
Police Scotland have yet to release a statement about the report.