The Scottish Government are encouraging members of the LGBT+ community to have their say on proposed changes to hate crime law.
Following a report by Lord Bracadale published in May 2018, a number of changes to hate crime laws in Scotland were proposed and the Scottish Government are seeking comments on these by 24th February.
The proposals include calls to include gender and age as new motivators for hate crime, as well as extending hate crime to online offences too. A hate crime is currently described as a crime aggravated by one of the following ‘characteristics’:
- Sexual Orientation
- Transgender Identity
There are a number of free public meetings taking place around the country to give you the opportunity to voice your opinion on the proposals:
Earlier events have already been held in Lockerbie, Inverness, Dundee, Stornoway and Galashiels.
In 2017, a report published by the Equality Network outlined shocking statistics relating to the experiences of LGBT people and hate crime. They found that 80% of trans people had experienced a hate crime and that verbal abuse and threats were the most common type of hate targeted at LGBT people.
The latest hate crime statistics available from Scotland’s Crown Office show there were 1,161 hate crimes against LGBT people in the year ending March 2018.
If you are unable to attend the public events, you can have your say online here before the consultation closes on 24th February.