Public urged to report hate crime
A campaign highlighting that hate crime will not be tolerated is being launched in pubs, clubs and other night time premises in Edinburgh.
The number of racially and ethnically-motivated incidents often increases at this time of year, particularly in places that are open late.
The campaign, which has been organised by the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership, runs throughout the festive period and into the New Year.
It includes a radio advertisement, poster and leaflet campaigns and various reassurance activities being delivered by both City of Edinburgh Council Community Safety Officers and Lothian and Borders Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
The campaign message is:
'Don't let people like this get away with it. There is no excuse for people being harassed, assaulted or abused because of their race or ethnicity. If you have been a witness or a victim yourself, report it in confidence to the police on 0131 311 3131 or visit www.saferedinburgh.gov.uk. In an emergency always call 999.'
Posters are being put up across the city this week and next month leaflets directly targeting people most at risk will be distributed in a number of ethnic languages.
The leaflets will encourage victims of hate crime to call the police. They outline what the victim can expect once in contact with the police, use of interpreters, the questions they may be asked and information about Remote Reporting.
Councillor Paul Edie, Community Safety Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "There is no place in this day and age for any behaviour that targets someone because of their race.
"This campaign is urging the public to be responsible and take action if they see someone falling victim to racist abuse or assault. We want to send out a clear message any sort of racially motivated harassment will not be tolerated.
"Last year the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership was the first in Scotland to launch a strategy against hate crime and working with our partners in the police, NHS and voluntary sector we aim to eradicate this abhorrent behaviour."
Superintendent Ivor Marshall, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "We are committed to ensuring everyone who lives, works and visits Edinburgh can do so safely and without fear.
"Campaigns like this one highlight that we will not tolerate hate crime, and will take robust measures against anyone committing such offences.
"Our Safer Neighbourhood Teams will work in conjunction with our partners at the City of Edinburgh Council to proactively identify and investigate any report we receive."
Notes to editors:
People could face up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to £10,000 for hate crime offences.