Tackling online hate crime in Scotland will be a “priority”, the nation’s police have announced, revealing that almost 1,000 files on children aged between 11 and 15 were created last year.
A total of 5,889 “hate crime files” were drawn up in 2016/17, Police Scotland said, announcing the launch of a social media campaign on the issue which will also see officers work with schools to promote the slogan “be greater than a hater”.
Around 900 of the almost 6,000 police files created in just one year involving so-called hate crime involved perpetrators aged between 11 and 15, according to a press release which warned that “increasing numbers of youngsters use social media to bully their peers online or hide behind fake online accounts”.
— Police Scotland (@policescotland) March 19, 2018
Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald said: “Tackling hate crime is a priority for Police Scotland and we take reports of any such incidents very seriously.
“Young people may not realise that hate crime can have significant and long-lasting consequences for both victims and perpetrators.
“We are working with partners to inform young people in an effort to prevent these incidents.
“It is vital that people report any hate incidents to us. Everyone has the right to live in safety and without fear.”
Authoritarian Britain https://t.co/ALwGTfuvPe
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 23, 2018
Police Scotland is “committed to reviewing and fully investigating all reports of hate”, added ACC MacDonald, urging “anyone who has been the victim of hate crime in any form” to complain to authorities whether through “calling 101 or 999 if it is an emergency” or using one of “more than 400 third party reporting sites, which offer support to those reporting hate crimes”.
On Wednesday, Scottish YouTube comedian Mark Meechan — better known as ‘Count Dankula’ — was controversially convicted of the crime of causing “gross offence” for uploading a video of his dog doing ‘Nazi salutes’.
Breitbart London reported this week on how police in London withdrew a section of the force’s website on hate crime after commentators drew attention to a paragraph which appeared to claim that individuals can be arrested and charged with an offence for an action someone believes was motivated by “hate”, even if the action does not break any law.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 13, 2018
Compared on social media to George Orwell’s 1984 and the concept of “thought crime”, the Metropolitan Police definition of “hate crime” was replaced on Monday with a less inflammatory take on the issue.
Across the country, police dedication to driving up reports of so-called hate crime — defined as “any crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by malice or ill will towards a social group — is such that dedicated awareness weeks have been launched in response to forces’ concern over a lull in the number of complaints.