A fairer Scotland for all: race equality action plan and highlight report 2017-2021

The race equality action plan sets out the key actions for the Scottish Government to drive positive change for minority ethnic communities.

Section 6: Community Cohesion and Safety

Scotland is not immune from the challenges to community cohesion facing us globally at present. We have invested strongly in building and maintaining resilient communities over many years and this has had positive results. This does not mean that there is no room for improvement, however, and although the Independent Race Equality Adviser did not make recommendations for actions on this theme, we have included a number here which further develop actions form the Race Equality Framework. The ability to live in our communities safely, in harmony with neighbours, is hugely important to our quality of life.

In 2016-17 racial hate crimes were the most common, however, they have decreased by 10% since 2015-16 (3,349). Offence aggravation data show that in 2015-16, 761 people were convicted in Scottish courts of an offence with an associated racial aggravation.

Source: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/06/9699/0.


Key Actions

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Representatives from minority ethnic community organisations will be part of our newly established Community Cohesion Delivery Group, tasked with implementing the recommendations of the Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion. We will publish an update on progress relating to the implementation of the Advisory Group's recommendations in 2020.

We will review and update our mechanisms for engaging with communities - including minority ethnic communities - to ensure we take account of their concerns and issues.

We have engaged with race equality stakeholders to shape and deliver our 6 week 'Hate Has No Home In Scotland' campaign which was launched on 13 October 2017. The campaign aims to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage reporting.

We will consider and implement the findings of Lord Bracadale's independent review of hate crime legislation in close consultation with race equality stakeholders and minority ethnic communities.

Once the Code of Practice on stop and search, which came into force in May 2017, has been in place for 12 months we will fund an independent review that will look at (among other things) any concerns about how stop and search powers are being used on people from specific sections of the community, including minority ethnic groups. The Stop and Search Advisory Group will be asked to report to Ministers on the review findings by the end of July 2018.

The review will also cover: any potential gaps in legislation around young people and alcohol; any lack of clarity in the Code or gaps in legal powers to search where this is necessary to preserve life; and any increase in the use of alternative search powers, such as "no suspicion" search powers under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (searches where serious violence is expected in an area).

We will work with the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland to promote positive action to increase the number of minority ethnic entrants to the police workforce, and to improve opportunities for development and promotion, to reflect the minority ethnic population in Scotland.

We will work with the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland to promote effective equality and intercultural competency training within initial training from the police workforce, combined with appropriate CPD for those already in post.

We will work with key partners to engage effectively with minority ethnic communities through focus groups and roundtable events to ensure the contribution of these communities in the development of a National Strategy to reduce social isolation and loneliness and encourage increased social engagement.


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