Religious hate crime up 400%

LOCAL politicians have said they are deeply concerned by a sharp rise in the number of religious hate crimes reported in Dumfries and Galloway in the last year.

A report released last week by the Scottish Government shows that between 2010-11 and 2011-12, the number of people charged with religious hate crime in our region increased by almost 400 percent from five to 19. While the numbers remain small compared to some other parts of the country, the scale and speed of the increase is worrying.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “Clearly an increase of nearly 400 percent in the number of people charged with religious hate crime in the space of a year is a cause for deep concern. It is important we understand why this increase took place and how we tackle the problem. We must send a clear signal that offensive religious or sectarian behaviour of any sort is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”