Publication - FOI/EIR release

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
17 Aug 2020
Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000052883
Date received: 25 Jun 2020
Date responded: 23 Jul 2020
Information requested

Following the publication of Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland[1] in February 2019. The request has been split into sections below to aid interpretation.

Response

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reasons why we don't have the information are explained below. Several documents have also been provided in a separately attached Annex. I have made it clear where exemptions have been applied.
(i) Please links to follow ups on the contents of Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland, February, 2019.

Including but not limited to IT systems, Data, Stats, Additional work, Reviews, Tests, Budget discussions, system, design upgrades, that you may know of, have produced, or been involved in, - and recommendations to alternative sources/links, as appropriate.
Several documents have been provided in the separately attached Annex in relation to this part of the request, including minutes of meetings of the Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group[2] and information relating to a stakeholder workshop hosted by Police Scotland where a proposed ‘deep dive’ of hate crime recorded by the police was discussed (further details below).

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions, 30(b)(ii) (free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation) and 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA apply to that information.

As discussed in the response to FOI 202000043165, since the publication of Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police (in February 2019) we have been engaging with Police Scotland in order to explore ways in which more detailed information on the characteristics of hate crime in Scotland can be published.

Part of this work includes a detailed review by statisticians of two thousand hate crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19, to provide further information on the characteristics and circumstances of these cases. It was anticipated that a report on the findings of this exercise would have been published in June 2020. However, we originally paused this work in March as it wasn’t possible to complete the fieldwork whilst following the instructions to work from home wherever possible during the COVID-19 lockdown. Now that Scotland is in Phase 3 of our route map for moving out of lockdown, officials plan to re-commence the final data collection for this project by the end of July and will make an announcement shortly thereafter on a revised timetable for the final report. Clearly this will rely on the continued suppression of the virus, with no re-introduction of previously lifted lockdown measures.  Users can keep informed of future updates in relation to this study via the ScotStat network (ScotStat is a network for users and providers of Scottish Official Statistics:
https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/scotstat).

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold some of the information you have requested as the IT systems used to record hate crime are the responsibility of Police Scotland. You may wish to contact Police Scotland who may be able to help (https://www.scotland.police.uk/access-to-information/).

(ii) Please any/all statistical analyses and reviews of monies spent on promoting (funding third sector, events, campaigns etc) and publicising hate crime reporting against reporting decrease/increases. Including cost benefit - and importantly more focussed detailed analyses.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under section 14(2) of FOISA a public authority is not required to comply with a request for information if it is identical or substantially similar to a request which it has already complied with, unless a reasonable amount of time has elapsed between the two requests. This request is substantially similar to your previous requests FOI 202000039717, 202000043165 and 202000048450 which we complied with on 22 June, 6 and 7 July. The Scottish Information Commissioner’s guidance on repeated requests at:
http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/FOISAEIRsGuidance/Section14/Section14Overview.asp says that in considering whether a reasonable period of time has elapsed between the previous request and the new request, there are two questions which will help the authority: 
(i) has the information changed?
(ii) have the circumstances changed?
In this case, the information we hold is the same as at the time of your previous request. We have also considered the circumstances and have concluded that there has been no significant change. For these reasons, we consider that your request is repeated and we are not obliged to comply with it. 

(iii) Hopefully there is a paper discussing decreasing crime stats and decrease in racial incidents etc. and solid evidentiary support (data) for all the elements of the proposed bill (it is not covered in the Bracadale report nor in other docs I have read to date). There is hopefully something more recent to which your unit input or produced.

The published policy memorandum which accompanies the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill details the Scottish Government’s reasoning for the proposed extension of the characteristics protected by the Bill and the evidence which was taken into account to inform this decision. This includes the responses to the 2019 consultation on amending Scottish hate crime legislation and the published findings of Lord Bracadale’s Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland, which was itself informed by a wide range of sources including independent expert advice, academic research and learning, and extensive consultation.

(iv) Please links to any/all recent analyses reports on IVPD Hate Crime data produced. (If there are none please explicitly state, this applies throughout this foi request.)
Similarly, any analyses and comparison studies on STORM HC data post Feb. 2019.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested as we have not produced further reports on Hate Crime based on information from IVPD or STORM.

(v) Please links to any/all recent analysis reports of protected characteristics (ref. Equality Act 2010, UN CEDAW etc. such as sex, that is not currently covered by extant legislation, on STORM and IVPD.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested as we have not produced analysis reports on protected characteristics from STORM or IVPD.

(vi) Similarly, any work (any level) on VSC (Variations of sex characteristics), Non Binary, Cross dressing, 'Transgender', gender reassignment, and other categories, - all variations of 'gender identities' plus referenced in the proposed Hate Crime bill, and the current 2009 act (including 'intersex') - analyses and stats re. incident reports, offences, statutory aggravations, pertinently severity, and other issues that arise (for example, hate crime accusation for vindictive reasons, mental health issues and so on).
Also, any Scottish comparative analyses of HC re. Gender identities and sex in real life, versus social media, crime vs. Non crime, etc. I am finding no evidence or analyses at governmental, institutional level based in data.

The response to FOI 202000043165 provides an overview of the information on Hate Crime which has been published by the Scottish Government (and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service).
This includes crimes which included a Transgender Identity aggravator (as defined in section 2 of the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009).

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested as we have not produced further statistics and analysis on the topics listed above (beyond what is described in the response to FOI 202000043165).

(vii) Also, any/all Reports on implementation of upgrades and the integration of STORM and IVPD and the implementation of upgraded systems across all districts. (links to Acceptance tests, completion reports, etc appreciated, and future planned enhancements, or appropriate sources).

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested as the STORM and IVPD systems are the responsibility of Police Scotland. As noted in (i), you may wish to contact them.

(viii) If possible a comprehensive list with links of all data reports and analyses, all levels, provided to parliamentarians or areas of the Scottish government by your service on HC recent years.
Responses to Parliamentary Questions are published on the Scottish Parliament website and can be accessed here: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/motions-questions-andanswers.aspx

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
Document 10 in the separately attached Annex relates to a request on intersectional hate crime data which was sent to the Scottish Parliament Information Centre in August 2019.
About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG