The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009 provides for statutory aggravations for crimes motivated by malice and ill-will towards an individual based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. Where offences are proven to be as a result of such malice or ill-will, the court must take that into account when determining sentence. The Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 further strengthened statutory aggravations for racial and religiously motivated crimes.
Hate Crime involves any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic. Hate crime can be motivated by disability, gender identity, race, religion or faith and sexual orientation.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have produced a leaflet explaining Hate Crime, in a range of languages.
Other useful publications are Halt Hate Crime - A guide to recognising and reporting homophobic and transphobic hate crime and a pocket guide produced by the LGBT National Youth Council.
East Ayrshire Adult Protection Unit commissioned the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disabilities to deliver a conference on Disability Hate Crimes in 2014. Everyone attending learned what constitutes a hate crime and how to report it and also received an 'Easy Read guide to Disability Hate Crime' produced by Central Advocacy Partners.
Police Scotland informed delegates about Third Party Reporting, what it means and where it was available.