Renfrewshire Council

Report a disability hate crime

A crime becomes a disability hate crime when it is 'perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by malice or ill will based on a persons disability or perceived disability'.

Anyone can commit a disability hate crime.

They can be young people who shout abuse when a disabled person walks by; a carer who takes advantage of a disabled person by taking their money; a student who bullies another disabled student or even a retired person who harasses their disabled neighbour because they have a disabled parking bay.

There are also some people who might make friends with a disabled person so that they can take advantage of them. They use their friendship to cover the fact that they are committing crimes at the disabled person's expense. Some disability organisations call this 'mate crime'. 'Mate' covers a wide number of people including friends, family and carers. Sometimes the exploitation may not be an illegal act but still has a negative effect on the individual.

How do I report disability hate crime?
It is important that all hate crimes are reported to the police whether it is a disability hate crime or not.

No matter how trivial or unimportant you think it is, your complaint will be taken seriously when you choose to report it.

Anyone can report a disability hate crime - whether they are the victim, someone who witnesses a disability hate crime, or someone the victim or witness tells about a crime. Witnesses also do not need to know the victim or give their name when reporting a disability hate crime.

You can make a report:

  • in person (attend police station, speak to police on street)
  • on the phone (101 non emergency, 999 emergency)
  • online (
  • in a third party reporting centre such as a library

Challenging these people can stop this from happening to someone else!