Fig: Trends in hate crime in Scotland
On Reporting Scotland, at 1.30pm and 6.30pm the coverage of hate crime in Scotland was of poor quality leading to distortion of the content. There were three flaws:
- The report covered the only aspect of hate crime where there has been a major reported increase – that against the disabled. For public information, given that this was the only aspect covered at any time by BBC Scotland, the report should have mentioned that hate crime based on race, by far the most common form of hate crime, is falling and that this is unique to Scotland.
- The report, once at 1.30 and twice at 6.30, led with the unsubstantiated claim that it is estimated that 93% or more than 90%, of such incidents are not reported. Such a claim is highly significant in that it may lead to disproportionately increased anxiety among disabled people or their friends and family. This could influence important decisions about the travel, education or living arrangements made for disabled people A source for this claim is required in reporting by a public service broadcaster. Giving a source would enable viewers to at least begin to evaluate its reliability.
- The scale of such crime needs to be reported to enable viewers a sense of perspective. For example, there were 3249 case of hate crime based on race reported and only 284 cases based on disability. The lack of such context was important given the report’s extended focus on a handful of single, admittedly disturbing cases. I have long experience of working with disabled students and remember them being treated with tremendous kindness by staff and other students. A reliable source: http://www.copfs.gov.uk/images/Documents/Statistics/Hate%20Crime%202017-18/Hate%20Crime%20in%20Scotland%202017-18.pdf
It will be interesting to see the response to this given that my last complaint seemed to result in a quiet wee victory. Of course, it might be a cunning new tactic of just absorbing criticism. See: