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Hate crimes in Scotland reach 12-year high as prosecutors pledge 'robust' action

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The number of hate crime charges reported in Scotland has risen to the highest level in more than a decade.Figures published by the Crown Office found there 5,992 charges brought last year with at least one hate crime element, an increase of 1.5 per cent and the highest number since 2011-12.The data covers the year up to March 31 this year and does not include figures relating to the controversial Hate Crime (Scotland) Act which came into force on April 1.The new law consolidated existing hate crime legislation and created a new offence of stirring up hatred against protected characteristics.The latest figures show that racial crime remains the most commonly reported hate crime, with 3,392 charges relating to race crime reported in 2023-24 - an increase of 4.6 per cent compared.Sexual orientation aggravated crime was the second most commonly reported type of hate crime although the number of charges reported decreased by 5.7 per cent.Dorothy Bain, the Lord Advocate, pledged to continue the robust prosecution of such offences.She said: “Crimes motivated by intolerance or prejudice must not be allowed to impact Scottish communities.

Hate crime has hugely damaging effects on victims, their families, and the wider community.“As prosecutors, we take very seriously our responsibility to protect victims and members of the public from these hate-fuelled offences.“Scottish prosecutors are committed to tackling crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice and will continue their work to ensure people can be confident that reports of such offending will be responded to fairly and robustly.“Nobody in Scotland should fear being targeted by abuse or violence for who they are.“The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will play its

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