The numerical response to the above parliamentary question came in the form of this table showing a dramatic fall in the number of charges made under Section 50A, by almost 50% in only the last 8 years:
91% of the 2017-2018 cases went to court.
The reporting of hate crime has also been falling in Scotland, so the above trend is explainable:
‘Racial crime remains the most commonly reported hate crime. There were 3,249 charges reported in 2017-18. This continues the downward trend since a peak of 4,547 charges reported in 2011-12 and is the lowest annual total since consistent figures became available in 2003-04.’
The fairly large gap between the number of offences reported and the number, less than 40% actually charged, will be due to the need for two sources of evidence to proceed and to the nature of some offences considered not serious enough to proceed.