Two females have been charged with hate crime offences following separate racially motivated incidents againt Glenrothes taxi drivers over the festive period.
A 26-year-old and a 35-year-old female have both been reported to the procurator fiscal after two unrelated incidents in December following allegations that they used racist language to verbally abuse two taxi drivers.
The offences come as police across the region adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to the issue of hate crimes.
Glenrothes Community Sergeant Kenny Greig told the Gazette individuals found guilty of such offences would continue to face the full force of the law in every instance.
“The issue of any sort of hate crime, be it an attack on a person’s religion, ethnic orientation, gender or social group, is both despicable and one that will not be tolerated,” he said.
“We will continue to engage with the various communities and we urge anyone who has been the victim of such a crime, however insignificant they consider it to be, to come forward and report it.
“They need not suffer in silence regarding crimes of this nature.”
“We have adopted a zero tolerance approach to such crimes and have in place a hate crime action plan which offers support to anyone suffering from such abuse,” added Glenrothes Inspector Joanne McEwan.
“People who work in service industry are disproportionately affected and the victims of this sort of crime.
“Some people may put it down to alcohol consumption or disorder in the night-time economy but the simple fact of the matter is that this behaviour is unacceptable.
“The public need to be aware that the approach we will take towards those people acting in this manner will be a very strong one, as we have already proven with these two recent incidents.”
With around half of the taxis operating within Glenrothes now fitted with CCTV equipment, Sergeant Greig said the drive to get every car fitted with the specialist equipment has been made a priority.
“We currently have around 50 per cent of cabs fitted with such equipment which has helped us detect a number of crimes and also acts as a deterrent,” he explained.
Now, with the support of the Glenrothes Neighbourhood Safety Group, who have funded this initiative, we are confident we will have every taxi fitted with these cheap and highly effective cameras by the end of February.
“At just £20 per camera they offer an unprecedented level of support for all drivers.”