Blind man urges more Scots to report hate crime

David Black wants more witnesses to report hate crime to police
David Black wants more witnesses to report hate crime to police

A blind Falkirk man who has been a victim of hate crime is calling for more Scots to report the issue.

David Black (39) has spoken out to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week after being subjected to three violent and verbal attacks because of his disability over the past seven years.

Left feeling vulnerable and scared to report what had happened, David was worried there may be a perception he wouldn’t be able to provide an accurate statement because he was blind.

Having also experienced abuse due to his sexuality, he now wants to highlight the impact hate crime can have on an individual.

David, who is a cook at the Forth Valley Sensory Centre, said: “I’ve been tripped over to see ‘how blind I really was’, attacked by a group of men and had really derogatory abuse hurled at me. I’m also gay and I’ve been the victim of insults about my sexuality as well. It could be very isolating feeling being gay and blind but I took steps to increase my confidence through a course with The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety.

“It helped a lot and I now teach the same course to other people at the centre.”

In the last year there were more than 5300 charges of hate crime reported to the procurator fiscal. In Scotland, the law recognises hate crimes as those motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability. Hate crime can be reported by calling 101.