Half a million already spent policing Scots hate crime law

Police Scotland has spent almost £500,000 implementing the Scottish Government’s controversial Hate Crime and Public Order Act.

Freedom of Information requests show the force spent £421,119 carrying out technology upgrades and £71,493 on overtime because of the new legislation.

The force received 10,029 hate crime complaints between 1 April and 19 May, of which 1,537 were deemed to be crimes.

‘Scrap the Act’

Scottish Police Federation General Secretary David Kennedy described the reported expenditure as “a total waste of money” and called for the legislation to be scrapped.

Of 1,080 people interviewed by Savanta last month on behalf of The Scotsman, 49 per cent said the Act should be repealed. Only 36 per cent want to keep the law, with 15 per cent undecided.

A Scotsman editorial said public opposition to the law is “unsurprising” considering the controversy of its introduction, and emphasised that there is “clearly a need for a timely review of its effects”.

Although the Act remains highly controversial, significant amendments were made to the original Bill to stop it posing a major threat to evangelism and Christian comment on sexual ethics, following a campaign by The Christian Institute-backed group Free to Disagree.

Also see:

NI Justice Minister drops plans for stand-alone hate crime Bill

Irish politician says ‘vague hate crime Bill must be binned’

Police Scotland ‘not ready’ as 4,000 hate crime complaints filed in 24 hours