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Summary: Religion and Crime and Justice

Image of police talking to members of the publicSummary: Religion and Crime and Justice

Religiously aggravated crimes
  • Of charges with religious aggravations reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services (COPFS) in 2016-17, 384 (57%) charges referred to incidents which were derogatory to Roman Catholicism and 165 (25%) were derogatory towards Protestantism.

  • There were 113 charges which referred to conduct which was derogatory to Islam and 23 were derogatory towards Judaism. In comparison, in 2015-16, there were 134 charges which referred to conduct which was derogatory to Islam and 18 were derogatory towards Judaism.

  • Religiously aggravated crime was most commonly reported in Glasgow (30% of all charges). Most of the accused were male (91%) with 41% of all accused between the ages of 16 and 30.

Source: Religiously aggravated offending in Scotland 2016-17

  • Offence aggravation data indicate that in 2015-16, 245 people were convicted in Scottish courts of an offence with an associated religious aggravation.

  • Over 79% of these were for charges of breach of the peace.

Source: Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2015-16 (Table 13)


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Religion Page

Crime and Justice Page

  • Half of people in custody in 2013-14 were either Church of Scotland (27%) or Roman Catholic (23%).

  • Forty one per cent of people in custody say they do not have a religion.

  • The proportion of ‘no religion’ was higher for female prisoners (57%) than male prisoners (41%).

Source: Prison statistics and population projections Scotland: 2013-14

Publications and Outputs



Scottish Crime and Justice Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive.

External Links

External Links

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EHRC Triennial Review - 'How fair is Britain?'

Statistics in more details


Crime & Justice