SCOTS who suffer verbal or physical abuse because of their sexuality will now have access to a dedicated police force.
Dozens of officers are being trained to tackle hate crimes directed towards the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex community (LGBTI).
Police Scotland and equality groups say hates crimes against LGBTI people are under-reported.
Once they have completed training, officers will become part of a new network of liason officers who can be contacted by the public. 
The officers will also be able to help and advise their colleagues across Police Scotland on LGBTI issues.
The new training is being delivered by Equality Network, Scotland’s national LGBTI equality and human rights charity, on behalf of the Equality and Human Rights Commission - aims to help address this issue and increase public confidence in Police Scotland around the country.
Superintendent Davie Duncan of Police Scotland’s Safer Communities Department said: “Tackling hate crime is a priority for Police Scotland. 
“We are delighted to have worked with the Equality Network. 
“Research and studies show hate crime against the LGBTI community is often under reported. 
“We hope that these specially trained officers will encourage more LGBTI people to come forward with the confidence in Police Scotland to help reverse this trend.”
 “If anyone feels they have been the victim of, or witness to, a crime which is motivated by malice or ill will because of sexual orientation or gender identity they should report it to us directly, online or through a Third Party Reporting site.
Scott Cuthbertson of the Equality Network added: “We know too many LGBTI people are the victims of hate crime, but we also know that many, for whatever reason, still do not report hate crimes. We want to change that.”
Last month, the Lord Advocate, Frank Mullholland suggested the “Keep the Clause” campaign could have been investigated as a hate crime under current laws.
Mr Mullholland was challenged for his views on attempts in 2000 to repeal the controversial Section 28 law which forbade local authorities from “promoting” homosexuality in schools.
A major part of the ultimately unsuccessful campaign was a private poll, funded by Sir Brian Souter, co-founder of the Stagecoach Group.
The country’s chief Law Officer was questioned at an event in Glasgow aimed at raising awareness about a new multi-agency group set up to tackle hate crime.