Religious hate crimes down by a quarter

RELIGIOUS hate crime in Glasgow has fallen for the third year in a row, official figures show.

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Religious hate crimes in Glasgow have fallen again
Religious hate crimes in Glasgow have fallen again

The number of charges in the city with a religious aggravation dropped from 281 in 2012/13 to 208 in 2013/14, a drop of almost 26%.Glasgow had accounted for more than half of all such offences in Scotland in 2010/11, but fell to just over a third in the last year.

Charges under the Offensive Behaviour At Football Act also showed a drop from 113 in 2012/13 to 72 last year.

Rangers and Celtic were the two clubs with the highest identification as the football affiliation of those accused of the crimes, with 59 and 44 charges respectively.

However, those, too, were a drop from the previous year, when 85 were identified with Rangers and 68 with Celtic.

Scotland-wide figures for hate crime showed an increase for offences relating to race, disability and sexual orientation, which the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said was cause for concern.

Race hate crime - the most common form of hate crime in Scotland - increased 3%. There were 4148 racial hate crimes charges brought against people last year, accounting for almost 69% of all hate-crime charges.

A total of 890 crimes against people because of their sexuality were reported last year - up 22% on 2012-13 - making it the second most common form of hate crime.

Meanwhile, a 12% increase in hate crimes against disabled people saw 154 such offences reported last year.

Mr Mulholland said: "There is no place in a modern Scotland for any behaviour motivated by prejudice and it will not be tolerated."

The figures were released on the day a man was arrested over an alleged hate crime against three women in Glasgow city centre.

The 26-year-old was arrested in connection with an alleged assault with a homophobic aggravation. He is expected to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday.

The alleged incident took place in Queen Street in the early hours of yesterday.

Campaigners said the figures show a serious problem in society.

Sally Witcher, of Inclusion Scotland, said: "Whether these figures represent an increase in hate crime or an increase in the reporting of hate crime, they indicate a serious problem and we fear this may just be the tip of an iceberg."

stewart.paterson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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