What Is Hate Crime?

Police Scotland say that hate crime is an offence.  An offence is something that is against the law.

If you are a victim of crime and you or someone else thinks it was because of your

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity

this is a hate crime.

Here are some examples of what Police Scotland say is a hate crime:

  • verbal abuse like name-calling and nasty jokes
  • harassment
  • bullying or intimidation by people of any age
  • physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
  • threats of violence
  • hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages or hate mail
  • online abuse, for example, on Facebook or Twitter
  • writing or sharing stories or posters that say nasty things about someone
  • harm or damage to things such as your home, or a pet or car
  • graffiti
  • deliberately setting fire to your property
  • throwing rubbish into a garden
  • making a false complaint against you.

What Is Disability Hate Crime?

Police Scotland logo

If you are a victim of crime and you or someone else thinks it was because of your

Disability then this is a disability hate crime.

If someone has been violent or nasty to you because you are disabled, or because they think you are disabled, then you have been the victim of a hate crime.

This can happen to you anywhere.  Sometimes you might know the person who attacked you or it might be a stranger.

A disability hate crime is when the victim or someone else thinks it happened because of bad feelings about disabled people.

This means that if you think something is a hate crime, the person you tell will record it like that.

I Am Me


I Am Me is a community charity. It works in partnership with Police Scotland to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime.

The project works to raise awareness with local young people and disability groups through drama and film.

It works to change attitudes and behaviours towards disabled people.

Since the launch in September 2013, a live performance was delivered to over 10,000 people, including High schools, disability groups, staff groups, the police training college and the Scottish Parliament.

A softer version, designed for primary school children was delivered to around 8,000 children in Renfrewshire.

People First (Scotland)


People First (Scotland) works to support people with learning difficulties to have more choice and control over our lives.

They have produced a video about recognising hate crime:

Police Scotland – BSL Video

Sergeant Grant Robertson uses British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate information about hate crime and how to report.

How do I report it?

Disability Hate Crime is one of the most under reported hate crimes in Scotland.

Charities like Mencap and Quarriers say that 97% of this type of crime never makes it to the Police.

Please click here for more information about how to report a hate crime.