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COPFS proud to play its part in tackling disability hate crime

The Solicitor General for Scotland, Alison Di Rollo QC supported Police Scotland’s launch of the ‘I Am Me Cinebus’ which will be used to visit schools and communities across the country, to raise awareness and educate groups of all ages, on disability hate crime.

In addition, the ‘Keep Safe’ initiative, which works with local businesses to create ‘Keep Safe’ places for disabled, vulnerable and elderly people when out in the community, has now been rolled out nationally.

Speaking at the event at Police Scotland College, Tulliallan on 14 October she said:

“Scotland is by nature a tolerant, friendly and inclusive society.  These are characteristics, and this is a reputation, of which we should be proud.  So when it is marred by prejudice and hatred shown to people with disabilities, Scotland as a nation must react.  For let none of us underestimate the impact this has on individual victims, their families and the fears and concerns it raises in the wider community.  Let us all clearly understand that if some of our more vulnerable members of society become targets for bullying and harassment, this can make them feel intimidated, scared and frightened to go out.

“This is unacceptable.  All of our citizens have the right to feel safe when they are out and about in the community.

“So – how should we and how do we react as a nation?  Well the first is to adopt – and publicise - a zero-tolerance approach to those who would behave in this way.  But we also believe it is vital that victims have the reassurance of knowing they have a safe haven if they need one.

“The Keep Safe initiative is an inspirational – and highly practical - way of empowering local shops and businesses to play a part in helping people who are vulnerable, for a variety of reasons, to feel safe as they go about their daily tasks out in the community.

“I am proud that COPFS is part of this important and much needed initiative and look forward to seeing it rolled out across Scotland in the near future.  As one of many ways in which Scotland can tackle disability hate crime, it has my support and is I hope evidence of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service’s continuing commitment to your communities”.