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The Scottish Crime Survey (2000) found that minority ethnic respondents had a higher risk of household victimisation (e.g. vandalism, housebreaking, theft of and from vehicles) and a greater risk of experiencing more than one such victimisation than white respondents. 25% of incidents against people from minority ethnic groups were considered by the victims to have been racially motivated. Abusive comments were made towards proportionately more minority ethnic respondents than whites. People from minority ethnic groups were considerably more likely than whites to use risk avoidance strategies such as avoiding certain other people, being accompanied when outside, and making special transport arrangements. The research also found that people from minority ethnic groups were more likely than white respondents to report vehicle theft and housebreaking to the police but were less likely to report vandalism, assault, robbery and theft from the person. In relation to household incidents, however, minority ethnic victims consistently expressed higher levels of satisfaction towards the police than white victims.

A recent study undertaken by the Lord Chancellors Department interviewed black, white and Asian defendants and witnesses in the criminal courts in England and Wales. They found that perceptions of racial bias amongst people from minority ethnic groups who appear before the criminal courts appear to be less widely held than in the past. However, 1 in 5 black and 1 in 8 Asian defendants definitely perceive racial bias in the Crown Court, and at least 1 in 10 in the magistrates' court. Black lawyers and staff were also more likely to perceive racial bias than others.

Mainstreaming race concerns and issues is central to the continued success of a fair justice system in Scotland and the UK.

Scottish Executive

The Home Office

Department for Consitutional Affairs

Joseph Rowntree Foundation