Cross Justice Working Group on Race Data and Evidence minutes: September 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 28 September 2022.

Attendees and apologies

  • SG Justice Analytical Services (JAS)
  • SG Police Division
  • SG Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
  • SG Health, Equality Team
  • SLAB (Scottish Legal Aid Board)
  • CRER (Coalition for Racial and Equality Rights)
  • Glasgow University, SCCJR (Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research)
  • Dundee University, SIPR (Scottish Institute for Policing Research)
  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)
  • Police Scotland (PS)
  • Scottish Policing Authority (SPA)
  • Scottish Prison Service (SPS)
  • BEMIS 
  • SFRS (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service)
  • Community Justice Scotland
  • CEMVO Scotland (The Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations)

Items and actions

Introductions and apologies

JAS welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending. 
Apologies from BEMIS and SFRS (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service)

Review of action points and minutes from last meeting 

There was one outstanding action point regarding sub-groups. JAS reported that a first meeting of each sub-group had been held in the summer. The groups are due to meet again in October and a fuller update will be provided at the next meeting. There were no further comments or suggestions arising from the previous minutes.

Emerging findings from SCJS ethnicity analysis

JAS presented the emerging findings of a pooled sample analysis from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey. These will be further refined and analysed prior to inclusion in the ethnicity.

Discussion followed the presentation:

A discussion was held on the presentation, with questions asked about whether the analysis can be updated once the next SCJS results are published (JAS confirmed it can) and whether further analysis would be possible split by gender. JAS confirmed this may also be an option, but small sample sizes will likely limit the range of measures this could be done for.

Justice organisations workforce ethnicity summary

JAS presented an overview of Justice workforce composition by ethnicity. 

Discussion followed the presentation:

There are many variations between organisations on how they report on ethnicity. Group acknowledged that it is important to publish data including on recruitment. It was acknowledged that all organisations should be complying with legal requirements under the PSED. 

The group endorsed a consistent approach to reporting and would like to know more details on what data is collected by organisations. Would also like to check progress on adoption of the ethnicity classifications. As a group, we want to help the Justice Sector and make sure we are sharing the best practice, perhaps by adopting an action plan. 

Action: JAS/sub group to take this forward in conjunction with the Cross Justice Working Group on Race and Workforce. 

Ethnicity compendium overview

JAS presented the content of the Ethnicity Compendium and what it will include. 

SG plan to publish the Ethnicity Compendium report in early 2023. A draft version will be circulated and presented to the group before publication.

Discussion followed the presentation:

SLAB – might have data available on Legal aid and plan to introduce a new recruitment tool on to collect applicant’s race data. 

Action: JAS to follow up with SLAB

SPA – informed the group that there is data available on use of force and police study that could be included in the compendium.

There was a discussion on stop and search, use of force, police custody and under 18 analysis as well as analysis on re-convictions and first-time offenders.

It was highlighted that if ethnicity data is not recorded by the police then it won’t be passed through the Justice system.

It is vital to keep the momentum going internally and externally so it is important to have a document in place for the time being. The compendium should be a springboard to promote investigative research and more qualitative data It was suggested that the group could develop an action plan to build interest and momentum in ethnicity and justice research. This could include holding a conference, discussions and debates.

If ethnicity were available in the Criminal Proceedings data it would address a number of gaps in analysis of Scottish data when compared to that carried out by MOJ, for example analysis of sentencing and prosecution data and potentially COPFS and Police disposals also. 

Action: JAS to follow up with analysts in justice organisations to confirm what data is collected and travels through the justice system. 

The group recognised that although there will be challenges in collecting more data in whether we choose not to ask for the information or individuals choose not to disclose, however, we need to explore further and be clear about what we can develop going forward.

There was a brief discussion around the Equalities Act and GDPR but this needs to be discussed in more detail with Equalities Directorate. 

Action: JAS will seek to invite relevant experts on the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and GDPR to talk to the group at a future meeting.

Hate crime data – JAS

JAS updated the group on work to produce the 2020/21 hate crime deep dive report. JAS are hoping to publish this before the end of the year. This will be similar in format/structure to the previous deep dive report for 2018/19.

Any other business

There was no other business

Next meeting

16 December 2022

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