There has been a sharp increase in the number of hate crimes committed in Dundee.
Figures released by the Crown Office show the number of people charged for religiously, racially or disability aggravated crimes in the city has gone up, while the country has experienced an overall decrease.
In the year 2017/18 there was a 23% increase in the number of racist crimes brought before a court – rising from 94 in 2017/17 to 116.
The city experienced an 18% increase in religiously motivated crime over the same time period.
There were also 10 crimes committed against those living with a disability in the city, up 900% on the previous year.
A drop in the number of crimes prejudiced by someones sexual orientation was recorded, but there were still 29 incidents reported to the Crown.
The number of religiously motivated and racially aggravated crimes recorded across Scotland fell slightly, however Fife and Dundee both bucked the trend.
Police Scotland said the figures were a record of the number of charges pressed, meaning the individual number of racist, religiously prejudiced, anti-trans or homophobic incidents could be higher.
Dundee City Council’s equality spokesperson, Gregor Murray, said: “Obviously any increase is not something that we should celebrate, but it’s hard to know from the raw data if that’s because there are more crimes or if there’s an increasing willingness for people to come forward to report these.
“It’s definitely an area we need to be working more on collectively across the city, with the police, and with representative groups, to get to the bottom of it.
“While we can see some increase in the reported numbers of racially motivated crimes, the trend is a positive one and last year’s figure is still below the rolling eight-year average.”
In Dunfermline and West Fife there were 18 reported incidents of religiously aggravated crime in 2017-18.
Kirkcaldy experienced a jump in the number of crimes committed against a person with a disability.
Divisional commander for Fife, chief superintendent Colin Gall, said officers were doing all they could to tackle religious hatred.
He said: “I want to reassure our communities across the Kingdom that tackling hate crime in all its forms is one of our top priorities and offences of this nature will absolutely not be tolerated.
“Hate crime has fallen by almost 5% in Fife, which is 20 fewer incidents recorded. In West Fife, hate crimes relating to race have fallen by 19% – a reduction in 23 offences.
“These statistics are important as they mean that there are fewer people who’ve been victim of these despicable acts. When these incidents occur, they are robustly investigated and those responsible will be appropriately dealt with.
“Unfortunately there has been an increase, from four offences to twelve, of hate crime incidents relating to religion within the West Fife area. However a person, or persons, has been reported to the procurator fiscal for each of these offences.
“We regularly engage with a diverse range of community groups and would urge anyone who has been a victim of, or witness to, a hate crime to report this.”
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie said: “Hate crime is a key priority for Police Scotland. We recognise the deep personal impact it has on individuals, their families and wider communities.
“We are aware that hate crime is often under reported however Police Scotland is fully committed to reviewing and investigating all reports of hate. It is only through reporting offences that we can form a more complete picture of the issue and address it in the most robust manner possible.”