The Scottish Government is calling on the public to help shape consolidated and modernised hate crime legislation as a new consultation opens today.
‘One Scotland: Hate Has No Home Here’ follows on from Lord Bracadale’s review of existing hate crime legislation in Scotland which included recommendations that additional statutory aggravations should be created for age and gender.
The consultation calls for views on a number of issues including how best to tackle gender based prejudice and misogyny. The issue of sectarianism will also be considered with the consultation seeking views on how this could be tackled through law based on the findings of the Working Group on Defining Sectarianism in Scots Law.
The public responses will inform the development of a hate crime bill which will be laid before Parliament later in this session of Parliament.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf was at 6VT youth café, and third-party reporting centre, in Edinburgh this morning to meet with young people who have been affected by hate crime, he said:
“Hate crime and prejudice are completely unacceptable and we are absolutely committed to tackling them. Following Lord Bracadale’s review we now want to hear the nation’s view on what our hate crime law should look like.
“The public’s voice is absolutely crucial in this process and we are determined to take this opportunity to shape our legislation so that it is fit for 21st century Scotland.
“We know that legislation in itself is not enough to build the inclusive Scotland we want and aspire to, but having robust law in place is vital so that it is clear to all that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable in society.”
Cabinet Secretary for Communities Aileen Campbell was also at 6VT this morning, she said:
“Hate crime and prejudice have a hugely damaging effect on victims, their families and communities and there is absolutely no place for it in Scotland.
“Scotland’s diversity is our strength and I’m proud that our nation is becoming an increasingly open and inclusive place to live. However, we also recognise that intolerance and prejudice remain and that more needs to be done.
“We are absolutely committed to modernising our hate crime legislation and I look forward to considering all responses to our consultation, I am confident that together we can build a stronger, more connected Scotland.”
The Lord Advocate, James Wolffe, QC also attended the visit in Edinburgh, he said:
“Crime motivated by hatred is not only a wrong against the individual, but it is an affront to our collective values as a community, creating division and fear.
“This is why we treat hate crime so seriously and why, as Scotland’s independent public prosecution service, the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service, will continue to do so.
“We are committed to tackling hate crime.”
Hate Crime Consultation Event
Stornoway Town Hall
17 January 2019
Book your place at www.eventbrite.co.uk