A big rise in disability hate crime has been recorded in Glasgow.

Charges reported to the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal for the first six months of this year are already almost the same as for the whole of last year.

There has been an increase in overall hate crime charges in Glasgow in the last year.

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People were reported for hate crime related to race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender.

Overall, the city witnessed an increase in charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal of 167 cases from 1285 charges in 2019/20 to 1452 in 2020/21.

It was a 13% increase which followed a 12% increase the previous year.

The most common category for hate crime in Glasgow was race with a rise from 700 to 880 charges.

Religious hate crime saw a decrease from 258 to 191.

The second most common category was sexual orientation which increased to the highest number yet with 408 charges reported up from 347 and an 80% increase since 2014/15 when 225 cases were recorded.

Disability and transgender hate crime charges also increased ion the last year.

Charges relating to a disability rose slightly from 70 to 74 but have more than trebled since 2013/14 when 22 charges were reported.

There appears to be an even bigger rise in disability hate crime in the current year with the total for the first six months of 2021/22 already showing 70 charges almost the same as for the last full year.

Transgender hate crime in Glasgow trebled from 6 to 18 charges in the last year.

The overall 13% increase in Glasgow is well above the Scottish rate which saw a 4% increase in the last year.

Disability campaigners linked the increase to the covid pandemic and rules and exemptions around face coverings and are encouraging disabled people to report hate crime.

A spokesperson for Disability Equality Scotland, said: “Disability hate crime has become more of a focus of our work in recent times. We know that disabled people often brush off incidents of abuse, mistreatment, harassment and bullying because they are all too common.

“During the pandemic, we have been made aware of increasing incidents of hate crime, particularly linked to face-coverings where disabled people have been challenged, abused and harassed by the general public for not wearing face coverings, despite having genuine exemptions.

“But we also know that there are many reasons why disabled people do not want to report these incidents. It could be because of a perception that they won’t be taken seriously, that little action will be taken, and also because of a fear of repercussions, as often the perpetrators are known to the victims.”

“We try to encourage disabled people to recognise and report hate crime and information on how to do this can be found on our website www.disabilitysafety.scot which is written to be as accessible as possible for disabled people.”