Creating a fairer Britain
Evidence suggests that the impact and experience of crime and harassment can be different for different groups of people. The Commission has undertaken several projects with a focus on targeted crime and harassment.
On 3 December 2009, the Commission announced its intention to conduct a formal Inquiry into the actions of public authorities to eliminate disability-related harassment and its causes. Our inquiry reveals that hundreds of thousands of disabled people regularly experience violence and bullying, much of which is going unrecognised by public authorities.
On the 24 March 2010 the Commission welcomed the enactment of The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009, which created new hate crime laws in Scotland. The new law addresses how Scotland’s courts deal with the perpetrators of hate crime, and extends protection already in place for victims of crime motivated by racial or religious prejudice to cover LGBT and disabled people. The Commission in partnership with the Equality Network and Stonewall Scotland have produced ‘Halt Hate Crime’ a guide to explain this new law. Aimed at the LGBT Community the guide specifies how to recognise hate crime, what the new law does and how to report a hate crime. It also contains key contact information for police organisations and support groups in Scotland.
The Commission was please to support LGBT Youth in 2009 with the launch of their Challenging Homophobia Together, schools campaign. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of the effects of homophobia and homophobic bullying in Scottish schools.
Find out more about the current Challenging Homophobia Together work or download materials for teachers and young people on which they can pledge support for the campaign, or for more information visit www.lgbtyouth.org.uk.
This piece of research, undertaken for the Commission by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, aims to be a useful contribution to the debate to introduce gender aggravation. Exploring some of the arguments for and against a gender aggravation in Scots criminal law before considering the evidence thus far of the impact the Gender Equality Duty (GED) has had on Scotland’s criminal justice system, and makes a number of useful recommendations for the future.
The Commission launched the first ever international study into the rehabilitation of hate crime offenders. Despite rising numbers of racist, homophobic and disability related harassment being reported in Scotland, virtually no attention has been paid to what motivates people to commit these crimes or what can be done to stop them.