We need a victim centred approach to understanding and addressing hate crime, says a September 2017 report (pdf) from Victim Support Scotland.
The report’s launch is timed to coincide with the independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland. It aims to answer the questions:
- What is the extent and nature of hate crime in Scotland and what are the causes?
- What are the harms of hate crime and what impact does hate crime have on victims and their wider communities?
- What can be done to ensure that all victims of hate crime receive support and legal protection, including victims who fall through the cracks of existing responses to hate crime?
- Many hate crimes go unreported. How can we improve reporting rates, including third party reporting?
- How can those who work directly with victims of hate crime be responsive to their needs and ensure support provision reflects best practice?
- How can a victim centred response to hate crime be fostered through legislation, policy and practice?
Alan McCloskey, VSS director of operations, said:
‘Most of the policy and research relating to hate crime focuses on the perpetrators and the criminal justice response and, while that has value, we would like to see a shift that keeps victims, and their experiences, at the forefront of all discussions.’