Poll: Almost half of Scots want to ‘bin’ new hate crime law

Nearly half of Scots agree that the Scottish Government’s controversial ‘hate crime’ law should be ditched, a new poll has revealed.

Of 1,080 people aged 16 and over interviewed by Savanta on behalf of The Scotsman, 49 per cent said the Hate Crime and Public Order Act should be repealed. Only 36 per cent want to keep the law, with 15 per cent undecided.

Police Scotland has been flooded with almost 10,000 hate crime allegations since the new law came into force, but only eleven per cent have been recorded as hate crimes.

‘Unnecessary pressure’

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”.

listen to the Scottish public who want to bin the SNP’s hate crime law

Russell Findlay MSP, the Scottish Conservative Party’s Justice Spokesman, urged new First Minister John Swinney to “listen to the Scottish public who want to bin the SNP’s hate crime law which risks free speech.

“This flawed legislation is being weaponised by activists with an axe to grind and putting our overstretched police under increased and unnecessary pressure.”


Last month, the Scottish Police Federation’s General Secretary, David Kennedy, called the new law a “financial disaster in the making”.

He said “at no time was any financial provision afforded to the service when the law came into force”, and the “amount of police time that is being wasted is not proportionate to the outcome”.

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:

Irish Govt to push through hate crime Bill before next election

Rishi Sunak: ‘Free speech is vital for democracy’

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