A new Scottish billboard campaign has taken aim at hate crime in the country. The new billboards, which are being rolled out around the country, take aim at bigots, racists, transphobes and homophobes.
The advertisements form part of a larger campaign called One Scotland, which is being carried out in collaboration with the Scottish government and Police Scotland.
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie spoke about the importance of reporting hate crime:
“We continue to work tirelessly to ensure we respond to all reports of hate crime and I would encourage anyone who has been the victim of, or witnessed, a hate crime to report it. In an emergency, calls should be made to 999 otherwise incidents can be reported through 101 or via third party organisations, a list of which can be found on the Police Scotland website.
One billboard reads:
“Do you think it’s right to harass people in the street? Right to push transgender people around in clubs? Right to humiliate, intimidate and threaten them online? Well we don’t. That’s why if we see you doing harm, we’re reporting you. We believe people should be allowed to be themselves. Except if you’re spreading hate.
The billboard then encourages its readers to report hate crime if they see it happening.
Another billboard, aimed at confronting homophobic hate crimes reads:
“We have a phobia of your behaviour. If you torment people because of who they love, shout words that we are not going to write, or use violence because you don’t like who someone is holding hands with, you should be worried. If we see or hear your abuse, we’re calling the police. That’s because love lives in this country, not hate.
One billboard targets racism:
“Do you threaten people because of where they’re from or the colour of their skin? Do you hurl language so vile it makes people scared to leave their homes? Well, your hate has no home here. We’re making a stand and if you see or hear anything we’re calling you out and calling the police.”
As it stands, Ireland has one of the highest rates of hate crime in the EU, although it does not have specific legislation addressing the problem. ENAR Ireland has proposed the Criminal Law Bill, which would create special new categories for aggravated offences.
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