Alcohol Hate Stats Spark Charity Campaign 'New figures show 40% of all religious hate crimes fuelled by alcohol'

A leading Glasgow charity has launched a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the link between alcohol and hate crime in Scotland.

Nil by Mouth has obtained statistics that show a quarter of all hate crimes involve alcohol with the figure raising to nearly 40% when it comes to religiously aggravated offences. The charity is now calling on pubs across the city to offer training to staff and support to customers who are bearing the brunt of the problem. The call is being made just days before the final Celtic v Rangers game on Saturday which will help decide the destination of this year’s league championship and will see tens of thousands of fans flock to pubs to watch the drama unfold.

The charity has launched its ‘Cheers to Change’ campaign encouraging drinkers and publicans to think about the possible consequences of such behavior on a night out and to consider how they use their influence to cut the alarming rates of alcohol fueled arrests. Nil by Mouth is now aiming to engage with licensed premises across the city asking them to display promotional material linked to the campaign and are offering free training for staff to help them identify and challenge behavior when required. The figures have been obtained from the Scottish Government’s latest published in depth analysis of hate crime in Scotland and show that religiously aggravated crimes are the most likely to involve alcohol.


Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott said:

‘Over the years I’ve observed numerous court cases for religiously aggravated behaviour where the defendant and their legal team have tried to use the fact they had consumed alcohol as some sort of rationale for their actions. This is never an excuse, and the courts certainly don’t accept it as one. Football certainly has its problems with this issue but its also important we stress that it’s not a solely football problem – the majority of these arrests aren’t linked to the sport. That’s why it’s important we use campaigns like this to get the message across to people that too much alcohol can impair our judgement and cause us to behave in ways that are threatening toward others. Through our ‘Beyond Religion & Belief’ workplace programme we can offer free training to pubs and clubs across Scotland regarding these issues and we hope that by working with both punter and publican we can help address what these statistics show is a very real problem. Hatred isn’t inevitable and its vital as a society we do all we can to address it both through legislation but just a importunely through taking collective and individual responsibility.’