Cross Justice Working Group on Race Data and Evidence minutes: March 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 31 March 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • SG – Justice Analytical Services (JAS)
  • SG – Police Division
  • SG – Equality analysis
  • SG – National Records of Scotland
  • CRER (Coalition for Racial and Equality Rights)
  • Glasgow University; SCCJR (Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research)
  • PS (Police Scotland)
  • Dundee University SIPR ( Scottish Institute for Policing Research)
  • SFRS (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Fair Justice System for Scotland (FJSS)
  • Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB)

Items and actions

Introductions and apologies

JAS welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending. 

Action points from previous meeting

Action 1:  JAS to gather views from other group members around whether improving Hate Crime evidence should be one of the core aims or a specific work strand - agreed that improvement of Hate Crime evidence will be part of the group’s wider remit rather than a core aim. This will complement the work being taking forward by the Tackling Prejudice and building Connected Communities Action group.

Action 2: JAS to update and recirculate  the Terms of Reference with a new paragraph from DB on ICERO and evidence and data analysis - updated terms of reference have been updated and are published on SG website – link is noted below.

Action 3: JAS to keep the group informed on progress with the research project on hate crime, including options to support the quality assurance of preliminary analysis once available - a report of the finalised analysis from the  research  was  published on the 23rd February 2021 (link below under Item 4).

Presentation on ethnicity data linkage

NRS gave a presentation on accessing census data, discussing recent projects and emphasising the value in having ‘ethnicity’ as a stable variable which can supplement other datasets. 

Presentation of results of hate crime in Scotland 2018-2019 deep dive project:

JAS gave a presentation on the findings of a research project into the characteristics of police recorded hate aggravated crimes in Scotland.

Engagement around race data and evidence gaps update (paper 1)

JAS provided an update to the group.

Academic Engagement work 

An online survey for academics/researchers has been developed. 

Community group engagement work

Community group engagement work remains a priority. 

Ethics and data protection

An ethics checklist and data protection impact assessment have been completed for the engagement work in order to comply with Government Social Research (GSR) ethical and legal obligations, and to highlight any potential ethical or privacy sensitives and actions to mitigate them.

Cross Justice Working Group on Race Data and Evidence – summary of data discussions with justice organisations (paper 2)

JAS updated the group on the ethnicity data audit

The main findings of the discussions have been summarised in the bullet points below:

  • prioritise addressing barriers in ‘source’ organisations 
  • clarify the operational need/legislative basis for collecting the information
  • self-identified ethnicity to be prioritised 
  • support for an agreed classification system 
  • need for staff guidance and training 
  • technical barriers 
  • resource implications for changes required
  • potential for data linkage between justice datasets
  • potential for data linkage to external sources e.g. census data

Ethnic group classifications for data collection (paper 3)

This paper sets out the proposal that the 2022 Scottish Ethnicity Classifications should be adopted as the standard for data collection purposes across the justice system. 


  • JAS to contact all group members and request feedback

Date of next meeting

Next meeting to be agreed for mid-June.

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