SCOTLAND has seen an “unacceptable” rise in the number of hate crimes recorded against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people over the last six years.

Since 2014, Scots have been abused due to their sexual orientation more than 7500 times, while the number of hate crimes relating to transgender identity doubled between 2014 and 2020.

Scottish Conservative shadow social justice secretary Jamie Green has branded the data shameful and has urged ministers to provide the police with more resources to help them tackle the problem and support victims.

According to Scottish Government data, there has been a 27 per cent rise in the number of hate crimes, aggravated by sexual orientation or transgender identity in the six years from 2014, going from 1169 incidents to 1597 by 2019/20.

Transgender hate crimes have also doubled in the same period, rising from 48 to 96 over the period.

In response to a parliamentary question from Mr Greene, Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison provided data on LGBT hate crimes, which also showed incidents becoming more violent.

In 2014/15, 75 per cent (842) of hate crimes against people’s sexual orientation were recorded as either common or serious assault, or as threatening or abusive behaviour.

By 2019/20, this had risen to 85% (1255) of the total number of sexual orientation-based hate crime.

Ms Robison cited a Scottish government study from February last year which examined the characteristics of police-recorded hate crime, and said: “In the vast majority (94%) of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes in 2018-19 the perpetrator showed prejudice towards the gay and lesbian community.

“In over two-thirds (69%) of crimes the words used or actions taken by the perpetrator showed a prejudice towards the gay community, with a further quarter (25%) showing prejudice towards the lesbian community.”

Mr Greene said the figures were “deeply alarming and totally unacceptable.”

He added: “A 12% rise in hate crimes based on sexual orientation in the space of 12 months – and an increase for the fifth year running – is very depressing.

“It’s 2021, and yet LGBT+ people in Scotland are experiencing more verbal and physical abuse, not less.

“We’re constantly being told that attitudes towards sexuality are becoming more tolerant and progressive, yet these figures tell the opposite story.”

The MSP for West Scotland said that while some elements of society are showing progression when it comes to same-sex couples, the data reveals a different picture for many people

He continued: “It’s great seeing a same-sex couple on Strictly Come Dancing at primetime on a Saturday evening, yet at the same time LGBT+ people are experiencing more bigotry than ever.

“Clearly, the SNP Government needs to do more to ensure youngsters are better educated on sexuality and tolerance to prevent prejudice developing, as it can have a terrible impact on the mental, as well as physical, wellbeing of LGBT+ individuals.

“I know Police Scotland treat crimes aggravated by homophobia very seriously – not least because their officers are on the receiving end of many of them – but they require the resources to do so. A real-terms cut to capital funding by the SNP Government in the latest budget does nothing to help their efforts.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said ministers were “committed to advancing equality for LGBTI people, and promoting, protecting and realising the rights of every LGBTI person in Scotland.”

He added that £3m had already been given to organisations promoting LGBTI equality, and said Scotland became the first country in the world to "embed LGBT inclusive education right across the curriculum."