The number of hate crimes reported has dropped by almost 75% Police Scotland has said.

It has now been just over two weeks since the introduction of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 was introduced.

In the first week of the new legislation, Police Scotland said there 7,152 reports of an online hate crime received.

New data released by them shows there was a sharp decline in the number of reports during the second week since its introduction.

A total of 1832 online hate reports were received between Monday 8 April and Sunday 14 April, with majority being received anonymously. A large number of reports were assessed against the new legislation and dismissed.

Police confirmed there were fewer hate crimes recorded in the second week.

They confirmed 213 recorded hate crimes, down from 240 in the new laws first week.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We have seen a significant reduction in the number of online hate reports, and these continue to be managed within our contact centres with minimal impact on frontline policing.

“All complaints received are reviewed by officers, supported by dedicated hate crime advisers, and dealt with appropriately, whether that is being progressed for further assessment, or closed as they do not meet the criteria under the legislation”.


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The new laws have been the topic of controversy in the nation with many prominent critics speaking out against it. Famously outspoken Scots author, JK Rowling feared it could criminalise those who criticise the Scottish Government’s policy on gender recognition.

She made a number of social media posts on the first day the law was in force misgendering a number of trans people, effectively challenging Police Scotland to charge her.

But Police Scotland did not take any action and said that Ms Rowling’s posts were “not assessed to be criminal”.

Detailed slides of Police Scotland’s data also revealed there has been a total 55 non-crime hate incidents, with 25 being recorded in the second week of April.

The data shows that, since its introduction on Easter Monday, the majority of recorded hate crimes have related to race, with 240 incidents recorded. 14 hate crimes related to transgender, 33 related to religion, 38 related to age, 61 related to disability, and 79 related to sexual orientation.