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Response to trans youth hate crime figures

LGBT Youth Scotland responds to Crown Office hate crime figures perpetrated against trans young people outlined in Herald article this weekend.

A feature in this weekend’s Herald highlighted the issue of hate crime motivated by prejudice in relation to transgender identities. This article noted that the Crown Office’s Report on crimes charged had shown that:

  • the number of charged crimes motivated by prejudice towards transgender people rose from 30 in 2015-2016 to 40 in 2016-2017
  • 6 of these crimes were reported to the Children's Reporter

It is important to note that these numbers are low and a small increase is most likely a sign that more transgender young people are reporting the crimes committed against them. It may also be that those incidents reported to the Children's Reporter involved children as the perpertrators of crime rather than the victims.

Regardless, no trans person should ever have to experience behaviour that makes them feel threatened, scared, unsafe, or causes them harm.

It is therefore important to proactively address hate crimes committed against trans young people and to continue to improve confidence people to report incidents. We believe this can be achieved by:

  • Education in schools and youth services to raise awareness of trans identities, address prejudice and make specific reference to hate crime.
  • Support from Police Scotland and School Liaison Officers to address anti-social behaviour in schools and the wider community.
  • Campaigns that support an increase in reporting of hate crime, including information on Third Party reporting systems, and the ability to report anonymously.
  • Community safety services such as Policy Scotland and British Transport police to engage with trans young people to build trust and embed trans identities into campaigns and approaches.

It is important to note that steps are being taken to by schools, charities community safety organisations and this may account for small the increase in statistics. LGBT Youth Scotland has also produced Guidance on Supporting Transgender Young People in Schools, including lesson plans, which will be launched in the new school term.

If you, or someone you know, has experienced a hate crime you can report this at your nearest police station, at a third-party reporting site, or at this website.

To find out more about what a hate crime is access the LGBT National Youth Council’s Pocket Guide to Hate Crime, created by and for young people.

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