Hate Crime is a criminal offence committed against an individual or their property, because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. This information guide looks specifically at disability hate crime and how to report it.
What is hate crime?
Hate crimes can take place anywhere- at home, in public, or on the internet (ie. via social media).
Hate crime can include:
- threatening behaviours
- damage to property
- inciting others to commit hate crimes
- bullying and harassment
A disability hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of their prejudice towards disabled people.
The Equality Act defines a disabled person as “someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.
The Equality Act includes special rules that ensure people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis are seen as disabled people from the point of diagnosis, rather than the point when the condition has an adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
How to report a hate crime
You can report a Hate Crime as follows:
Call 999 (emergency) or 101 (non emergency)
If you cannot make voice calls, you can contact 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile. Emergency SMS is part of the standard 999 service which has been designed specifically for people with hearing loss or difficulty with speech. You will need to register your mobile phone at emergency SMS before using the service.
Text phone or Talk By Text
Users can contact the emergency services by dialling ‘18000)’. This call will be connected to the 999 service and translated by a Text Relay Assistant.
You can fill in the Police Scotland Hate Crime Form linked above to report non urgent hate crime which has occurred in Scotland.
Alternatively if you don’t want to contact the Police, you can report a hate crime to Crimestoppers through their online form or by phone on 0800 555 111.
There are a number of Third Party Reporting Centres in Scotland. Staff within these centres have been trained to assist a victim or witness in submitting a report to the police and can make such a report on your behalf.
Such as a trusted adviser, friend or family member.
An advocate is someone who supports you to say what you want to say, or will say what you want to say when you are not able to do so. Find your local advocacy service by calling the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance on 0131 510 9410
Further information and useful contacts
Information last updated on 5 June 2020. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.
If you would like this information guide in another version then please contact us and we will post or email you a copy.
Equality, Legal & Advocacy:Frequently Asked Questions
Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:
What can I do if I feel that I have been discriminated against?
The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. For further information on the definition of disability, see the Equality Act Guidance.
If you feel you have been treated unfairly there a number of steps that you can take. You can speak to an advisor at an advice agency such as your local citizens advice bureau or you can call the Equality Advice Support Service (EASS) who can advise and assist people on issues relating to equality and human rights.
If you need employment advice, ACAS provide free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. You can call their helpline on 0300 123 1100.
If you can’t sort out the problem at work, you may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal. You should use the ACAS free Early Conciliation service before applying to a tribunal. In most cases the tribunal must receive your claim within three months of the dispute.
Making a complaint
There are several steps that you can take when making a complaint.
- Complain directly to the person or organisation. You can write a formal letter or complaint. Your letter should also say what you would like to happen next. For example: an apology; changes to the way they do things; money as compensation. You can use a template form available from the Equality Advisory Support Service.
- You can ask someone else to help you sort it out. Some mediation services offer free or subsidised mediation. Contact Scottish Mediation.
- An advocate can support you to say what you want to say, or will say what you want to say, when you are not able to do so. Contact the Scottish Independent Advocacy Service.
- Make a claim in Court. Be aware that if you do decide to make a claim in court, you need to tell the court about your claim (by filling in a form and paying a fee) within six months of what happened. Information about how to make claim in Scotland can be found on the Scottish Courts Service website.
You do not have to choose only one of these. Instead, you could try each of them in turn. You can, if you want to, make a claim in court straight away. Do think very carefully about whether making a claim in court is the right course of action for you. Making a claim may be demanding on your time and emotions, and before starting the process you may want to look at whether or not you have a good chance of succeeding.
If you need further information, or help to contact your local advice service please call our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
Equality, Legal & Advocacy:Search for Local Organisations
Our quick search tool can connect you to over 3000 service providers, suppliers and organisations supporting people across Scotland. To find support near you, simply enter your search term and select your local authority.