New group set up to tackle hate crime
An independent advisory group on tackling hate crime has been set up by the Scottish Government.
Dr Duncan Morrow, who chaired an expert group that earlier this year called for tougher sanctions to deal with sectarianism, will lead the Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion.
The group will makes recommendations to ministers on steps that need to be taken to prevent and eradicate hate crime north of the border.
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Latest figures show racial crimes as well as religiously aggravated offences are at their lowest levels in a decade. However, disability hate crime rose by a fifth between 2013-14 and last year.
The announcement comes five months on from the Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism chaired by Dr Morrow delivering its long-awaited report.
The advisory group said sanctions were “urgently needed” within football to deal with the issue.
The full remit and membership of the new group is yet to be announced.
Announcing its launch, Community Safety Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The main purpose of the group is to provide evidenced findings and recommendations which the Scottish Government can take forward in partnership with communities to help eliminate hate crime for good.”
Dr Morrow, a former chief executive of the Community Relations Council in Northern Ireland, said: “My previous work with the independent Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland highlighted an enormous desire for change among communities and agencies across Scotland which will allow us to tackle insidious social issues like hate crime in respectful ways.”