Our research, How Safe Are You, found that 70% of LGBT people who had been physically attacked did not report the attacks. We also found that more than half of respondents were not aware of remote reporting or third-party reporting schemes in their area.
When you report a hate incident, it gives the police a clearer picture of homophobic and transphobic hate crime, both in your community and across Scotland. Telling someone about what happened means you’re standing up for your rights, and challenging people who think Scottish lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people should be in the closet or afraid to be themselves.
There have been significant improvements in the way police forces around the country now respond to hate crime, including homophobic hate crime.
If you are a victim of homophobic or any other hate crime such as hate mail, verbal abuse, domestic violence, harassment or any other form of abuse please contact your local police. If you go to the police station, you can bring someone with you for support. You can ask for a break at any time if you find the experience upsetting.
Many forces now have LGBT Liaison Officers, Community Safety Units or other hate crime initiatives. Each force has its own services, but typically they include: encouraging reporting; supporting victims; responses to violent incidents, including very serious incidents like murder; and community liasion, including work with schools on homophobic bullying.
The EHRC guide Halt Hate Crime lists contact details for all the Scottish police forces and many remote reporting services. You'll find these at the back of the guide, from page 20. If you need a Word document or hard copy of Halt Hate Crime, please contact us.
You can also find details for your local police online at www.scottish.police.uk
In many areas, you can submit a third party report or 'remote report', which lets you report in confidence without having to speak to the police. There are details for some remote reporting services towards the back of Halt Hate Crime.
You can often submit a report through your local LGBT support or community group. You can contact us or search our What's in my Area database or the National LGBT Forum website to find a group near you.