3. Summary information on hate crime recorded by Police Scotland in the Interim Vulnerable Persons Database (IVPD)
As outlined in section 2, our investigations suggest that the IVPD does adequately reflect the total volume of hate crime that comes to the attention of Police Scotland. Therefore it can be used to produce summary information that will provide a good indication of the scale of police recorded hate crime in Scotland. This report includes that information for each of the five hate crime characteristics (race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity), and covers 2014-15 to 2017-18.
This will not cover all hate crime in Scotland, as not all crimes are reported to the police.
3.1 Extracting information from the IVPD
In order to carry out analysis of hate crimes recorded by the police, these first had to be identified within the IVPD, and the related information extracted. Those crimes which included a hate aggravator were identified and included in the below analysis.
The IVPD is a live operational database, therefore the information extracted is subject to change. Data was extracted following the conclusion of the 2017-18 reporting year and as such investigations will still be ongoing in relation to some of the more recent crimes, with data from previous years more likely to be in a near finalised state after investigations have been completed.
Crimes have been presented in this report against the year in which they were recorded by the police. This is the same approach as the National Statistics on recorded crime, which also presents crimes by the date they were recorded. Not all crimes are reported to, and therefore recorded by, the police immediately following their occurrence. As such each year's figures could include a proportion of crimes which occurred in earlier years.
Notes on tables
- '*' indicates a value of less than 5, 0.5% or 0.5 per 10,000 population (or based on a figure less than 5) but greater than zero
- '-' indicates a value of zero
- All figures for percentages and rates are rounded to the nearest whole number
- Totals may not sum to 100% due to rounding
3.2.1 Hate crimes recorded by the police
There are a range of factors that could influence the number of hate crimes recorded by the police. Whilst changes in the number of crimes recorded could reflect a change in the number of crimes experienced by the population of Scotland, other factors are also likely to have an impact.
Trends can be affected by public reporting practices; attitudes to certain behaviour may change over time and reporting rates may vary by the type of crime.
Under-reporting of hate crime is recognised as a key factor. The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) 2016-17 estimated that 37% of all crimes (as defined by the SCJS) were reported to the police.
Actions being taken by both the Scottish Government and Police Scotland to address the under-reporting of hate crime are discussed further in Section 4.
Contraventions of Scottish criminal law are generally divided for statistical purposes into crimes or offences. For the purposes of this report the term 'hate crime' includes both crimes and offences.
'Crime' is generally used for the more serious criminal acts; the less serious termed 'offences', although the term 'offence' may also be used in relation to serious breaches of criminal law. The distinction is made only for working purposes and the 'seriousness' of the offence is generally related to the maximum sentence that can be imposed. More information can be found in the Annex, along with definitions of the most frequently committed hate crimes.
The IVPD itself is not Police Scotland's crime recording system, although if as part of a hate-related incident criminality is identified then the appropriate crimes should also be recorded in the IVPD.
Further information on the recording of crime can be found in the guidance provided to officers in the Scottish Crime Recording Standard: Crime Recording and Counting Rules.
As noted in the introduction, for the purpose of this report, a hate crime is any crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a social group.
Not all crimes will necessarily have a victim. One example may be where racist graffiti not directed at any individual (i.e. a hate crime of vandalism with a race aggravator) is discovered and reported. A hate concern would be raised on the IVPD with the witness (i.e. the person reporting) being identified as the subject of concern.
Number of hate crimes
The police recorded 6,736 hate crimes in the IVPD in 2017-18. Since 2014-15, the number of hate crimes recorded in the IVPD has fluctuated between 6,600 and 7,000 crimes (Table 1).
Geographic location of hate crimes
In 2017-18, the number of hate crimes recorded by Police Scotland per 10,000 population was highest in the Glasgow City and City of Edinburgh local authority areas (at 30 and 26 crimes per 10,000 population respectively) (Table 1). The Shetland Islands and Na h-Eileanan Siar had the lowest rates.
Whilst the Glasgow City and City of Edinburgh local authority areas collectively accounted for 21% of Scotland's population in 2017, they accounted for nearly half (48%) of all hate crimes recorded by Police Scotland in 2017-18. This could, at least in part, relate to the relatively higher level of ethnic diversity present within these two areas (the majority of associated hate crimes included a race aggravation - see Table 2). The 2011 Scottish Census reported that the City of Edinburgh and Glasgow City local authority areas have the highest proportion of their population comprised of ethnic groups other than 'White British', 18% and 17% respectively, compared to the Scottish average of 8%. Other factors that may lead to the relatively higher number of recorded crimes within these two local authorities include the presence of a large night-time economy, and a large daily influx of visitors, workers and tourists. They are also more frequently used as the location for large scale events and the holding of demonstrations.
Table 1: Hate crimes recorded by the police, by local authority, 2014-15 to 2017-18
|Number||Rate per 10,000 pop.||Number||Rate per 10,000 pop.||Number||Rate per 10,000 pop.||Number||Rate per 10,000 pop.|
|Argyll and Bute||49||6||37||4||55||6||50||6|
|City of Edinburgh||1,422||29||1,320||26||1,324||26||1,343||26|
|Dumfries and Galloway||121||8||97||6||69||5||98||7|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||5||2||8||3||7||3||*||*|
|Perth and Kinross||101||7||92||6||78||5||72||5|
Hate crimes by aggravator
In 2017-18, two-thirds (67%) of hate crimes included a racial aggravator, 16% included a sexual orientation aggravator, 7% a religious aggravator, 4% a disability aggravator and 1% a transgender identity aggravator (Table 2). The remaining 5% of crimes and offences included more than one aggravator, with the most common combination being race and religion (2% of hate crimes in 2017-18).
These proportions remained relatively consistent between 2014-15 and 2017-18.
Table 2: Hate crimes recorded by the police, by aggravator, 2014-15 to 2017-18
| Multiple Aggravators -
|Race & Religion||134||2||153||2||154||2||160||2|
|Other (including. Race or Religion)||94||1||126||2||134||2||138||2|
|Other (excluding. Race or Religion)||12||*||16||*||29||*||25||*|
Hate crimes by type of crime
In 2017-18, nearly half (45%) of hate crimes recorded were 'Threatening or abusive behaviour' under Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (Table 3) (see the Annex for definitions of selected crimes).
This was followed by 'Racially aggravated conduct' which represented nearly a quarter (23%) of hate crimes recorded. 'Racially aggravated conduct' covers some offences under Section 50A of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 where the perpetrator acts in a racially aggravated manner and this causes, or is intended to cause, a person alarm or distress. 'Racially aggravated conduct' is recorded where the behaviour is corroborated by one or more witnesses, otherwise an offence such as threatening or abusive behaviour with a racist aggravator would be recorded.
A further 13% of hate crimes recorded in the IVPD in 2017-18 were 'Common assault' (see the Annex for more on the definition of 'Common assault').
The number of 'Threatening or abusive behaviour' offences recorded in the IVPD has increased from 2,432 in 2014-15 and 3,031 in 2017-18. There were increases in the number of 'Threatening or abusive behaviour' offences in relation to each of the five hate strands over this time period. The number of 'Racially aggravated conduct' offences recorded in the IVPD has fallen from 2,196 in 2014-15 to 1,561 in 2017-18.
Table 3: Hate crimes recorded by the police, by type of crime, 2014-15 to 2017-18
|Type of crime||2014-15||2015-16||2016-17||2017-18|
|Crimes of violence and sexual crimes||153||2||92||1||106||2||143||2|
|Crimes of dishonesty||34||*||31||*||41||1||41||1|
|Vandalism, fire-raising etc. - of which||290||4||259||4||247||4||250||4|
|Offences - of which||6,316||90||6,161||91||6,144||93||6,215||92|
|Threatening or abusive behaviour||2,432||35||2,772||41||2,939||45||3,031||45|
|Breach of the peace etc.||190||3||138||2||103||2||107||2|
|Racially aggravated harassment||249||4||187||3||178||3||216||3|
|Racially aggravated conduct||2,196||31||1,904||28||1,668||25||1,561||23|
|Communications Act 2003 offences||377||5||406||6||375||6||364||5|
Type of hate crime by hate aggravator
For the purposes of this analysis we have included any crime which includes the aggravator in question, including occasions where there may have been multiple aggravators. Therefore, crimes with multiple aggravators will be included in the figures for each of the aggravators associated with it. For example, if a crime was aggravated by race and sexual orientation, it will be included in the total number of race crimes below, and sexual orientation crimes. This means the total number of crimes for each aggravator in Table 4 below will not match the totals in Tables 2 and 3.
Looking across the different aggravators and the types of crime which have been recorded in 2017-18, a relatively consistent pattern is apparent, with the most common hate crime being 'Threatening or abusive behaviour' (Table 4).
As might be expected, a far higher proportion of crimes recorded with a racial aggravator were 'Racially aggravated conduct'. This is because it is a standalone offence relating to racially aggravated behaviour, whereas there are no standalone offences relating to the other strands. There was a correspondingly lower proportion of 'Threatening or abusive behaviour' offences recorded in the IVPD for crimes with a racial aggravator. This would be expected as the offence of 'Racially aggravated conduct' is similar to the offence of 'Threatening or abusive behaviour'.
There were a slightly higher proportion of 'Vandalism etc.' crimes recorded in the IVPD for hate crimes with a religious aggravator than for the other strands. There are some other small differences in the proportions across other categories, however due to the smaller number of crimes recorded with a disability and transgender identity aggravator, the proportions are more likely to fluctuate year to year. Further definitions can be found in the Annex.
Table 4: Hate crimes recorded by the police, by aggravator and type of crime, 2017-18
|Type of crime||Race||Religion||Sexual Orientation||Disability||Transgender Identity|
|Crimes of violence and sexual crimes||64||1||16||2||48||4||22||7||*||*|
|Crimes of dishonesty||25||1||5||1||*||*||9||3||-||-|
|Vandalism, fire-raising etc. - of which||162||3||58||8||35||3||*||*||*||*|
|Offences - of which||4,452||94||621||87||1,123||92||271||88||75||92|
|Threatening or abusive behaviour||1,705||36||402||57||860||70||177||58||50||61|
|Breach of the peace etc.||49||1||32||5||20||2||10||3||-||-|
|Racially aggravated harassment||216||5||6||1||*||*||-||-||-||-|
|Racially aggravated conduct||1,561||33||56||8||25||2||*||*||-||-|
|Communications Act 2003 offences||227||5||59||8||62||5||38||12||9||11|
Note: A hate crime may be included in several columns. This is because a hate crime can include multiple aggravators. This means the totals may not match those in Tables 2 and 3.