The Scottish MSM are all over this story which, of course, may actually refer to good news. Perhaps, more people are feeling confident enough to come forward and report hate crimes. Perhaps police are improving their identification and recording of hate crime offences. Also, the figures will include historic cases where, again, victims have become empowered by recent cultural shifts to come forward. See this from galop:
What do police data mean?
There are many factors that prevent reporting statistics from giving a ‘true’ picture of hate crime. One of the biggest is under-reporting. To give some context, an estimated 278,000 hate crimes are committed in England and Wales each year according to Government research, yet just 52,528 hate crimes were recorded by the police in these regions during 2014/15 (i). For that reason, the police aim to increase the number of hate crimes reported.
Given that under-reporting will be a factor in Scotland too, comparing the the overall level of reporting should be of interest to our media.
Racial crime remains the most commonly reported hate crime. In total 3,038 charges relating to race crime were reported in 2019-20, an increase of 4 percent compared to 2018-19. Although the number of charges has increased in 2019-20, it is still the second lowest annual figure since consistent figures became available in 2003-04.
In England and Wales:
In 2018/19, there were 103,379 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales, an increase of 10 per cent compared with 2017/18 (94,121 offences).
The population of England and Wales is 11 time greater than Scotland’s so, pro rata, you might expect racial crime to be at around 34 000 but it’s 3 times higher at more than 103 000.
The level of sexual orientation aggravated crime, at 1 486 cases in Scotland and 14 891 in England and Wales, is similar but disability aggravated charges at 387 in Scotland were only 50%, pro rata, of the level in England and Wales, at 8 256.