Police Scotland discovers just 3 per cent of 7,000 complaints are actually hate crimes

Police Scotland has been flooded with over 7,000 hate crime complaints in the first week of the Hate Crime and Public Order Act coming into force, but only three per cent were assessed to be criminal acts.

In total, just 240 of the complaints were determined to be hate crimes, while 30 were recorded as ‘non-crime hate incidents’. The police force said the “vast majority” of the 7,327 reports made between April 1 and 7 were anonymous.

Although the new law 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.


General Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation David Kennedy said: “It’s a financial disaster in the making and at no time was any financial provision afforded to the service when the law came into force. The amount of police time that is being wasted is not proportionate to the outcome.”

Sharon Dowey, the Scottish Conservatives’ Deputy Party Spokesperson on Justice, added: “These figures highlight the huge toll Humza Yousaf’s shambolic hate crime law is already having on Scotland’s overstretched police force.

“It beggars belief that the SNP have introduced this when one in five officers haven’t received the paltry two-hour training that’s supposed to equip them to enforce the new law. Humza Yousaf should admit he’s got it badly wrong and bin this disastrous law.”

A Police Scotland spokesman responded: “This significant demand continues to be managed within our contact centres and, so far, the impact on frontline policing, our ability to answer calls and respond to those who need our help in communities across Scotland has been minimal.”


Before the controversial Act came into effect, the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents (ASPS) warned that the legislation could cause officers to become drawn into “ill-tempered, abusive spats” between ‘fringe activists’.

ASPS President Rob Hay told Holyrood’s Justice Committee that “public discourse on many controversial topics has descended into deeply polarised, entrenched positions” and activists “will seek to ‘weaponise’ the new legislation and associated police investigation”.

He said Police Scotland “must focus on those crimes and offences that cause the most harm and represent the highest risk to public safety. Should this new legislation result in a sustained increase in reported incidents, this will only be made harder, especially if those reports are spurious or misunderstand the extent of the legislation.”

Also see:

Poll: Almost half of Scots want ‘hate crime’ law ditched

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

Rishi Sunak: ‘People should not be criminalised for upholding biological sex’

Related Resources