Posted on April 4, 2024

Police Scotland Hit With Almost 4,000 Complaints in First Two Days of New Hate Crime Laws

Daily Mail, April 3, 2024

Police Scotland was deluged with almost 4,000 complaints in the first 48 hours of Humza Yousaf’s controversial hate crime laws coming into force.

Officers are said to have recieved a hate crime complaint every two minutes during the first days of the legislation.

Calum Steele, the former general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers within Police Scotland, said he understood that the number of complaints received so far could be as high as 3,800.

He said that ‘more than half’ are yet to be processed.

Police Scotland said it would consider every report made under the law, which became active on Monday.

The legislation was immediately tested by Harry Potter author JK Rowling as she challenged Police Scotland to arrest her on Monday after making a series of posts referring to transgender women as men.

But the force confirmed on Tuesday that the author’s comments were assessed not to be criminal.

A spokesman said ‘no further action will be taken’.

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act has been met with objections from freedom of speech advocates, including Rishi Sunak, Elon Musk and Joe Rogan.

It creates an offence of ‘stirring up’ hatred against people on grounds including transgender identity.

Police Scotland said they had received complaints about Ms Rowling’s posts, in which she said ten high-profile transgender women were men, including the broadcaster India Willoughby and the activist Munroe Bergdorf.

After the confirmation she would not be prosecuted, Ms Rowling tweeted: ‘I hope every woman in Scotland who wishes to speak up for the reality and importance of biological sex will be reassured by this announcement, and I trust that all women — irrespective of profile or financial means — will be treated equally under the law.’

Ms Rowling said: ‘If they go after any woman for simply calling a man a man, I’ll repeat that woman’s words and they can charge us both at once.’

Joanna Cherry KC, an SNP MP said the author had done a ‘great service’ but said: ‘It’s a little early to be sure that the zealots who wanted to weaponise aspects of this new law against women have been thwarted.’

It came as Scotland star Ally McCoist described the new hate crime law as ‘madness’ and claimed he will break it ‘along with 48,000’ Rangers fans at this weekend’s Old Firm derby.

Speaking on TalkSPORT, the Rangers legend said: ‘We’ve got a Hate Bill, by the way. A Hate Bill has been passed in the country.

‘And I can guarantee you, next Sunday at Ibrox, I along with 48,000 will be committing a breach of that hate bill in the particular Rangers v Celtic game we are all going to. It is madness.’

The 61-year-old claimed the new law is unpopular with the police because it is impossible to enforce.

He added: ‘There is nobody in our country who thinks that is a good idea, who I have spoken to.’