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Disability Hate Crime and 3rd party reporting

Hate Crime against disabled people happens when the perpetrator of the offence is motivated by their prejudice towards disabled people. Other crimes, such as theft or assault, can also be aggravated by prejudice against the victim's disability.

Hate Crime legislation in Scotland has been strengthened to protect disabled people and those from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities. The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009 came into force in March 2010. It will better protect disabled people who are victims of violent crime motivated by their disability. Where it can be proven that an offence has been motivated by malice or ill-will based on the victim's disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity, the court must take that motivation into account when determining sentence.

In some cases victims or witnesses of hate crime do not feel comfortable reporting this direct to the police and may be more comfortable reporting it to someone they are familiar with.

3rd party reporting is a way of reporting a crime or passing on information without talking to the police directly. There are a number of local agencies which act as a 3rd party reporting centres including Housing Associations and Advocacy organisations. Victims, witnesses, carers or others can speak privately to a member of their staff and they will pass your information onto the police. You can ask for your information to be investigated; leave details, but ask for your information not to be investigated; leave no details, and ask for your information not to be investigated (this helps police monitor areas where hate crime may be rising).

You can also submit a report online through Police Scotland's website.

You can contact us by phone: 0131 313 5510 or email:advice@capability-scotland.org.uk to find out about a local centre near you.