People who engage in hate crime will "feel the full force of the law", Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC has said in a message to mark UK Hate Crime Awareness Week, which runs this week.
Mr Wolffe said the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service was committed to tackling such "abhorrent behaviour". He commented: "The Service works with others to prosecute hate crime; and to raise awareness of its effects. I am proud of that work. Each day this week I will be sending a message to the Service’s staff focusing on a different aspect of hate crime; and on Friday the Solicitor General, Alison Di Rollo QC, will attend the launch of the ‘Keep Safe’ event at Tulliallan – which is aimed specifically at raising awareness of disability hate crime, which we believe is significantly under-reported.“
Emphasising that everyone was entitled to live their lives free from violence, intimidation and prejudice, he continued: "Crime motivated by hatred is an affront to the basic values of tolerance and respect which I firmly believe characterise modern Scotland. It is particularly liable to create division and fear within and between communities. That is why we treat it so seriously and why we will continue to do so.
“I believe that the independent, effective, rigorous and fair prosecution of crime in the public interest underpins our freedoms and helps to keep people and communities safe. It vindicates the rights of those who are the victims of crime, and secures the fair treatment of those who are accused of crime. The prosecution service, along with our colleagues in Police Scotland, plays an essential role in creating an environment in which all people who live in Scotland, regardless of their personal or social circumstances, can have confidence that they live in a just society and that they will be protected from crime – and in particular from hate crime.“