Published: 25 Aug 2015
A major new project to increase reporting rates of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) hate crime in Scotland has been announced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The work will be delivered by the Equality Network and LGBT Youth Scotland, as part of a GB-wide project managed by the LGBT Consortium.
Working across Scotland, the project will focus particularly on rural areas where reporting is traditionally low. The community-led project aims to empower LGBTI people to stand up against hate crime through providing information, building strong partnerships and improving assistance and support for those affected.
Equality and Human Rights Commissioner for Scotland, Kaliani Lyle, said:
'Everyone should feel confident and sufficiently empowered to recognise and report incidents of hatred, hostility and harassment and yet we know that for LGBTI people this is very often not the case. It is difficult to tackle crimes that aren’t reported. Therefore, addressing under-reporting is crucial to the broader aim of reducing these incidents and creating a fairer and safer society.'
The specific areas of work will cover:
- Building the capacity of LGBTI organisations to tackle the issue.
- A national programme of skills and training development.
- Building provision of effective support for people who’ve experienced LGBTI hate crime.
- Media guidance on responsible reporting of LGBTI hate crime incidents.
- Media and social media activity to raise awareness of the issue and encourage reporting.
- Buddying partnerships to increase the sharing of information and support. Groups will include LGBTI organisations and criminal justice agencies.
- Providing expert hate crime advice to LGBTI organisations.
Tim Hopkins, Director of the Equality Network, said:
'Our research shows that hate crime is one of the top concerns for LGBTI people in Scotland, with two thirds having experienced verbal abuse, and one in six physical attack. We welcome the funding from the Equality and Human Rights Commission for this vital work. The project will help people access support after a hate incident, and aims to ensure that the authorities deal with incidents effectively.'
Paul Roberts, CEO of LGBT Consortium, said:
'We’re delighted to be working with Equality Network and LGBT Youth Scotland to tackle hate crime. It’s really important that people recognise what hate crime is and if they are impacted by it, that they get support and report it.'
The Scottish work is an extension of a project the LGBT Consortium is currently delivering for the Commission across England and Wales to tackle hate crime.
The work with the partnership led by the LGBT Consortium is an important part of a much wider Commission programme that has supported the establishment of a specialist LGBT hate crime helpline, the commissioning of academic research into the area and guidance for criminal justice agencies on providing hate crime services.
Notes to editors
- The UK’s only 24/7 nationwide LGB and T hate crime helpline, run by Stop Hate UK – 0808 801 0661.
- Research by the Equality Network found that 68% of LGBT people in Scotland had been verbally abused and 16% physically assaulted(//www.equalitynetwork.org/resources/publications/policy/the-scottish-lgbt-equality-report/)
- The Crown Office, Police Scotland and the Equality Network sit on the GB-wide Expert Reference Group for the project alongside UK and Welsh Government departments and LGBT partner organisations from across Britain. The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It is an independent body responsible for protecting and promoting equality and human rights in Great Britain. It aims to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and protect and promote human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. It encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and is accredited by the UN as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institution.
- LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Scotland (www.lgbtyouth.org.uk)
- The Equality Network is the national Scottish lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex equality organisation (www.equality-network.org)
- LGBT Consortium is the umbrella body for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Voluntary and Community Organisations in the United Kingdom. It provides support for organisations so they are able to deliver services to LGBT individuals.