News

Hate crime in Scotland is underreported, SCCJR report finds

28 Sep 2016

A new report for the SCCJR has found that levels of hate crime in Scotland are higher than official figures suggest, and called for more research to provide a clearer picture of the problem.

SCCJR PhD student Maureen McBride has produced a Review of the Evidence on Hate Crime and Prejudice to support the work of the independent advisory group set up by the Scottish Government in 2015.

She found that underreporting and inconsistency in reporting practices made it difficult to analyse hate crime trends, but that the harms of this type of crime are widely experienced in Scotland. She also identified a perception that some protected categories are prioritised for action over others, that some groups are still marginalised in the research process (such as those with learning disabilities and people in prison), and that many stakeholders are unhappy with the terminology used to discuss hate crime.

McBride highlighted the importance of recognising the structural factors that help shape hate crime patterns, and the way in which the structural disadvantage of minority groups combines with discrimination to negatively shape people’s life experiences. She found that intersectionality (the interconnected nature of social categories) was considered a crucial factor by most stakeholders.

Read the full report, A Review of the Evidence on Hate Crime and Prejudice: Report for the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion, here.