Figures released by the Crown Office show hate crimes are increasing across Scotland. The number of charges for the period 2019-20 reported an increase in all categories of hate crime compared to the figures from the previous year.

Racial crime is the most common leading to 3,038 charges in 2019-20 – an increase of 4% on the previous year. Sexual orientation aggravated crime is the second most common, leading to 1,486 charges in 2019-20 – an increase of 24% on the previous year. Incidences of religious aggravated charges and disability aggravated charges also rose.

Responding to the figures Lord Advocate JamesWolffe QC said: “Everyone in Scotland should be able to love without fear of being targeted because of their race, religion, disability identity or sexual orientation and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal is committed to protecting the public, especially from crime motivated by hate.”