REPORTS of hate crimes against trans people in Scotland have tripled as politicians warn that a “cynical campaign” against the LGBT community has caused the shocking rise.

We previously told how hate crime reports with a transgender aggravator in Scotland doubled in the space of a year.

However, a Scottish Government study that looked into detail at the characteristics of hate crimes has now revealed that reports of transgender hate crimes are the fastest rising in Scotland.

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The Scottish Tories rejected suggestions that the UK Government's rhetoric around transgender people had contributed to the rise in hate crime reports. 

Race-related hate crime reports are still the most prevalent, while over a quarter of alleged hate crimes (27%) reported to Police Scotland had a sexual orientation aggravator.

Overall, between 2014-15 and 2021-22, reports of trans-related hate crimes rose from 53 to 185 (250%).

For transgender-related hate crime reports, the study established that the majority of reports related to online incidents (31%), in an open public space (28%) and in or around a dwelling (23%).

The majority of hate crimes were reported to Police Scotland by the victim (92%), and were perpetrated by young men.

The report added: “The majority of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of perpetrators, representing around three quarters (74%) of crimes.

The National: Hate crimes with a trans aggravator have TRIPLED in ScotlandHate crimes with a trans aggravator have TRIPLED in Scotland

“The average age of a perpetrator was 26 years old.

“Where information was available on the ethnicity of perpetrators, the vast majority of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes had a perpetrator of White Scottish ethnicity (84%). “The second largest ethnic group was Other White British (13% of perpetrators).”

The majority of victims were female (56%), equating to 50 crimes in 2020-21, while 43% had male victims.

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The study also found that most hate crime reports with a sexual orientation aggravator took place while the victim was at work.

Maggie Chapman, Scottish Greens equalities spokesperson, said: "We should all be angry about the appalling increase in transphobic incidents in Scotland.

"This awful rise must also not be viewed out of context. It has been fuelled by a cynical campaign of vicious lies and smears spread about our trans siblings.

The National: Campaigners have called on the UK Government to reverse their decisionCampaigners have called on the UK Government to reverse their decision

"Much of it has been whipped-up and encouraged by powerful voices, such as those with significant public platforms and those in the UK government who want to distract from their own failings.

"This abusive behaviour must never be normalised. Prejudice and bigotry ruin lives. Behind every one of these crimes is a real person who has been attacked just for being who they are.

“My heart goes out to every single person who has been targeted and abused. I stand in solidarity with them and their friends and allies. This poisonous transphobia has absolutely no place in a modern and progressive Scotland.”

Rachael Hamilton MSP, Scottish Tories' equalities spokesperson, said that the rise in hate crimes against transgender people is "appalling" but defended the UK Government.

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She said: “The idea that this has been ‘whipped up’ by the UK Government is malicious, unfounded and untrue.

"While the debate about the SNP’s Gender Recognition Reforms has evoked strong feelings on both sides, the UK Government and the Scottish Conservatives have used sensitive and respectful language throughout."

Hamilton then accused Chapman and other supporters of the bill of using "inflammatory and divisive" language.

Police Scotland's Superintendent Claire Dobson said: “Targeting anyone because of who they are is deplorable. Hate crime should have no place in society and we are working to increase awareness and encourage reporting.

“We want anyone who experiences hate crime, including when our officers and staff are targeted, to report it in the knowledge they will be treated fairly, with respect and the circumstances investigated professionally.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “These figures are a reminder of why we are tackling hate and prejudice towards our LGBTI communities head-on wherever it occurs.

“Whilst the rise in transgender identity and sexual orientation related hate crimes may be attributed to a greater frequency of crimes occurring, it may also be attributed to an increased confidence in the reporting of instances of hate crime to the police – something that we actively encourage.”