MORE than one third of all religious hate crimes in Scotland have happened in Glasgow, new figures reveal.


The latest data released by the Scottish Government shows 197 charges were made in 2014/15 relating to religious hate crimes in Glasgow, 35% of the nationwide total.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said despite the falling figures, there was "no place in modern Scotland" for any type of hate crime but welcomed the falling figures.

He also condemned the nationwide rise in Islamophobic and anti-Semitic crimes, which have risen by 23% and 16% respectively.

Mr Mulholland said: "I want to reassure these communities that the full force of the law will be brought to bear on anyone engaging in this hateful and divisive conduct and would urge victims of all forms of hate crime to come forward and not suffer in silence.

"I am particularly pleased to see racial and religiously aggravated offending at their lowest levels for a decade and football related hate crimes also reducing.

"There is absolutely no place in modern Scotland for individuals who commit crimes motivated by prejudice towards a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

Campaigners have welcomed the figures but admit there is still a way to go to eradicate religious hate crime in Glasgow.

Dave Scott, campaign director for anti-sectarian charity Nil by Mouth said the figures show Glasgow still has a problem with religious hate crime, but added: "We need to remember that it's a battle we are winning.

"We've seen huge progress in the city over the past 15 years with anti-sectarian work taking place across the vast majority of the city's schools through Sense over Sectarianism and Nil by Mouth.

"The Evening Times has also recognised these efforts and we now see many positive stories about efforts to bring people together."

"We still need laws to ensure those who refuse to change are held accountable for their actions and people are free to go about their business without victimisation.

"However, this problem was never going to be solved overnight and through education we are building solid foundations for a Scotland free of bigotry and a generation free from the burdens of the past. "

Charges under the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act have also fallen in the last year, with 46 people being charged in Glasgow in 2014/15 compared to 72 in 2013/14.

The total charges in Glasgow make up 24%of the national total.

Celtic Park and Ibrox are no longer the grounds with the highest number of charges associated to them, with Celtic Park's figures dropping since last year.

In 2013/14, 21% of the charges for the whole of Scotland occurred at Celtic Park, whereas this year the number of incidents equals less than 5%.

Less than five people were charged in connection to incidents at Parkhead last year.

Last year incidents at Ibrox related to 16% of the total charges, but this year the figure has fallen to 9%, with 8 people being charged for incidents at Rangers' home ground.

Nationally, figures have revealed all types of hate crime are falling except those relating to sexual orientation and disability.

Transgender-related crimes have also risen in the past four years.

Disability charity Enable Scotland said the figures are "just the tip of the iceberg"

Jan Savage, assistant director of campaigns at the ENABLE said: "Although we have seen yet another year on year rise in reported disability hate crime, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

"We would agree with The Lord Advocate that disability-related crimes are still being under-reported and welcome further work to change this."

"It is heartening to see police and prosecutors dealing with the problem robustly, but disabled people need to have more confidence in the reporting system.