Publication - Impact assessment

Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill - Equality Impact Assessment

Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill.

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Contents
Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill - Equality Impact Assessment
Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

88 page PDF

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Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

The table below summarises some of the key evidence from the review of the available data.

Where possible, some data around intersectionality of the characteristics has been provided.  However, it is important to note that results presented from some of the sources, such as the SCJS on victimisation rates, do not prove that equality characteristics are necessarily (or solely) driving differences identified between population sub-groups.  Further analysis would be required to unpack the relative impact of different characteristics on experiences, whilst other contextual factors such as lifestyle and location may also be important.  Further work is currently being progressed separately by Scottish Government’s Justice Analytical Services to examine the factors associated with victimisation more closely.  Additionally, it should be noted that SCJS population sub-group victimisation data refers to experience of any property or violent crime, not specifically hate related incidents.

Please note that direct links to all sources referenced in column two (evidence gathered and strength/quality of evidence) can be found in column three (source).

Characteristic[13]

Evidence gathered and Strength/quality of evidence

Source

Data gaps identified and action taken 

Age

Statistical Data

Demographics

The 2011 Census recorded that Scotland’s 65 and over age group comprised 16% of the population.

The Mid-2018 Population Estimates Scotland, approximated that in 2018, just under one in five people (19%) were aged 65 and over, compared with 16% in mid 2008.

The, 2016-based Population Projections, estimates that people aged 75 and over are projected to be the fastest growing age group in Scotland.  The number of people aged 75 and over is projected to increase by 27% over the next ten years and by 79% over the next 25 years.

Experiences of crime

The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, found that in 2017/18, 14% of adults reported that they had been insulted, pestered or intimidated in any way by someone out-with their household, an increase from 10% in 2012/13.

The likelihood of experiencing crime was lowest for those aged 60 and over at 5.3%.  In comparison 16% of 16-24 year olds experienced crime.

The most recent findings from the, Scottish Household Survey, found that in 2018, 3% of victims of harassment thought their age or perception of this may have been a motivating factor in their most recent (or only) experience of harassment while 63% of harassment victims in 2017/18 did not think any of their characteristics were an influencing factor in their most recent experience.

Additionally in 2018 it was found that 8% of adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and 6% had experienced harassment in Scotland at some point over the last 12 months. The survey showed that 15% of those who reported experiencing harassment and 7% who reported experiencing discrimination said it was motivated by their age.

Statistics from, Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, show that since 2008-09 the highest conviction rate for criminal offences has shifted upwards from the 18-20 age group to the 21-30 age group which in 2017-18 stood at 35 convictions per 1,000 population. The 31-40 age group in 2017-18 also declined to a level of 35 convictions per 1,000 population, compared to 38 per 1,000 in the previous year.

Over the past 10 years the number of convictions per 1,000 population for younger people (under-21s and 21-30s) has fallen much more quickly than the numbers for older people, although they are falling in all groups.

Lord Bracadale’s Review

Lord Bracadale considered whether age should be included as a characteristic within hate crime legislation. He noted stakeholders reported that while it may be that many crimes against the elderly are motivated by a desire to exploit a perceived vulnerability, some crimes are motivated by hostility based on the perceived age of the victim. He found that:

there is sufficient evidence of hostility-based offences against the elderly, particularly in the light of the information provided by Action for Elder Abuse, to include age as a protected characteristic based on the current model of hostility.’

Lord Bracadale also considered the application of this to children and young people particularly in reference to bullying (in the circumstances where the particular conduct in question constituted an offence).

Lord Bracadale therefore recommended that, ‘There should be a new statutory aggravation based on age hostility’. He suggested that this should covers people of any age and should not refer to a particular age group such as elderly people or children and young people.

Lord Bracadale also recommended to introduce stirring up offences for all existing and any new characteristics including age.

Separate to this, Lord Bracadale has also recommended that the Scottish Government should consider, outwith the hate crime legislation, introducing a general aggravation covering exploitation and vulnerability, noting that older people were often specifically targeted due to their actual or perceived vulnerability.

Consultation

Within the Scottish Government consultation, One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here, which ran from 14 November 2018 to 24 February 2019, views were sought on the above recommendations.

In regards to a new statutory aggravation for age, there were mixed views. A total of 29% of respondents were in favour and 54% were not, although 64% of organisations supported a new statutory aggravation for age.  Those in favour argued that there was a need for legislation in this area and there should be a consistent approach to statutory aggravations applied across all characteristics.  These respondents also thought that the creation of a new statutory aggravation relating to age would provide a deterrent to age-related hostility.  Those opposed thought that there was little evidence of age-related hostility being targeted either at older people or at young people and, therefore, legislation in this area was not needed.  Some thought a statutory aggravation relating to ‘age’ would be unworkable in practice.

Respondents felt that most offences committed against the elderly were likely to be motivated by a perpetrator’s perception of the victim’s vulnerability, rather than age-related hostility.

It was also highlighted that since age is a protected characteristic under the, Equality Act 2010[14], adding age would represent a consistent approach.

There was, however, an acknowledgment among organisations dedicated to supporting the elderly that crimes against older people were more likely motivated by perceived vulnerability than age-related hostility.  Consequently they encouraged further consideration being given to an exploitation of vulnerability aggravation outwith hate crime legislation. 

Youth organisations cited the importance of children receiving the same level of protection as other groups to help address ‘societal and media’ pressure in addition to protecting young people from exploitation and exposure to violence.  

Furthermore stakeholders representing children and young people recommended that any legislative development should be subject to a Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment.  A copy of this can be found the Scottish Government website.

Contributions from age organisations in response to the consultation included:

  • Age Scotland;
  • Action on Elder Abuse;
  • Children in Scotland;
  • Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration;
  • Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights);
  • YouthLink Scotland;
  • Youth Community Support Agency YCSA

Police Scotland consultation response

The report of the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion explained that evidence on the demographics of convicted perpetrators suggests that they are likely to be young (25 years of age and under). Police Scotland’s response to the consultation on hate crime legislation supports this finding.

Additional Stakeholder Engagement

Following the publication of Lord Bracadale’s review, a number of stakeholder engagement events were held in summer 2018 to help inform the development of the Scottish Government public consultation.  This included an event with age organisations:

The following age organisations attended:

  • Soroptomists International;
  • Outside the Box;
  • Age Scotland;
  • Scottish Pensioners Forum;
  • Scottish Older People’s Assembly;
  • Action Against Elder Abuse.

The organisations agreed that age based hostility exists and therefore adding age to hate crime law would help address this issue. 

There was general recognition among the attendees that only a very small number of crimes are based on age hostility.  However, one representative participating in the stakeholder sessions cited the younger generation blaming the elderly for using the NHS and taking jobs away from the young etc. as evidence of age-related intolerance.  The media encouraging hostility between young and old and the dangers of the elderly being vulnerable to exploitation (either by family members, carers or bogus tradesmen and general scammers) were offered as more general examples.

One organisation specifically cited exploitation and vulnerability as issues that needed to be looked at in greater detail by the Scottish Government outwith the hate crime legislation.

Action on Elder Abuse Meeting

The organisation issued a formal report to the Justice Committee and later met with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice on how to tackle criminals that intentionally targets older people.  They highlighted the reluctance of older people to report crimes against them, particularly where they are committed by family members or carers.  They also expressed concern about what they regarded as a reluctance on the part of the police and COPFS to treat such cases as a matter for the criminal justice system. 

YouthLink Scotland Events

The Scottish Government provided grant funding for YouthLink Scotland to host consultation events with children and young people on what should be included in the new hate crime legislation. 

There was a strong view amongst the young people that both older and younger people could potentially be victimised because of their age and therefore they were very supportive of age being added as a characteristic within hate crime law.

Primary Source - Equality Evidence Finder[15]

2011 Census Reconciliation Report - Population[16]

Mid-2018 Population Estimates Scotland[17]

2016-based Population Projections[18]

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017-18[19]

Scottish Household

Survey 2018[20]

Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2017-18[21]

Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland[22]

One Scotland: consultation on current hate crime legislation[23]

Consultation on Scottish Hate

Crime Legislation[24]

Consultation on amending Scottish hate crime legislation: analysis of responses[25]

Report of the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion, published September 2018[26]

Programme of multi stakeholder engagement events

Action on Elder Abuse Meeting

YouthLink Scotland Events[27]

Quantitative data available on age for general demography is mainly based on mid-year population estimates and population projections. 

The next Scottish census will take place March 2021.

Information on the age of victims and perpetrators is not generally available for police recorded crime.

No figures are available for hate crime and age as this is not currently a characteristic in existing hate crime legislation, nor is the existing hate crime data disaggregated in this way.

Qualitative data availability around age is primarily based on Lord Bracadale’s Review, the One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here consultation and further engagement sessions with stakeholders.

Disability

Statistical Data

Demographics

The proportion of adults with a long-term limiting mental or physical health condition or disability is increasing as the population ages.

Between 2008 and 2018, the proportion of women who were disabled increased from 28% to 36%. Over the same period, the proportion of men who were disabled increased from 23% to 30%.

Experiences of crime

The, Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, found that in 2017/18, 14% of adults reported that they had been insulted, pestered or intimidated in any way by someone out-with their household, an increase from 10% in 2012/13.

Additionally, 3% of victims of harassment thought their disability or a condition they have may have been a motivating factor in their most recent (or only) experience of harassment while 63% of harassment victims in 2017/18 did not think any of their characteristics were an influencing factor in their most recent experience.

Disabled people were more likely to have experienced crime in 2017/18 than non-disabled people.  An estimated 14.9% of disabled adults were victims of at least one crime compared to 11.8% of non-disabled adults.

The most recent findings from the, Scottish Household Survey, in 2018, found that 8% of adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and 6% had experienced harassment in Scotland at some point over the last 12 months. Some groups were more likely than others to report this including people who are disabled, of whom 11% reported experiencing discrimination and 8% reported experiencing harassment.  A further 11% of those who reported experiencing harassment and 10% who reported experiencing discrimination said it was motivated by their disability.

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland, reports that in 2017-18, the police recorded 308 hate crimes which included a disability aggravator (including hate crimes with multiple aggravators).

The number of disability aggravated charges reported to COPFS remained almost unchanged, up 1% to 289 in 2018-19.  With the exception of 2016-17, there have been slight year on year increases in charges reported since the legislation introducing this aggravation came into force in 2010.

Statistics from, Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, show that 2017-18, 58 people were convicted in Scottish courts of an offence with an associated disability aggravation.  Convictions with this particular aggravator remain relatively stable, rising marginally from 53 in 2016/17.

Lord Bracadale’s Review

Disability is already included in the characteristics covered by hate crime legislation. Lord Bracadale recommended to introduce stirring up of hatred offences for all existing and any new characteristics including disability (currently only exist in relation to race).  He recommended this to ensure parity across all characteristics covered by hate crime legislation.

Separate to this, Lord Bracadale has also recommended that the Scottish Government should consider, outwith hate crime legislation, introducing a general aggravation covering exploitation and vulnerability, noting that disabled people may be vulnerable, or perceived as being vulnerable. He explicitly recognised that a proportion of offences committed against disabled people are based not on hostility, but on perceived vulnerability.

Consultation

Within the Scottish Government consultation, One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here, which ran from 14 November 2018 to 24 February 2019, views were sought on the above recommendations.

Results from the consultation showed that 69% (55) of organisations agreed with the introduction of stirring up offences for each characteristic, including disability.

Organisations representing disabled people provided evidence and examples of the abuse experienced by their stakeholders to support the case for introducing additional stirring up offences and that it would send a clear message about the unacceptability of such behaviour.

Furthermore, establishing stirring up offences for all characteristics would be helpful in supporting consistent data gathering and monitoring of abusive and threatening conduct targeted at different groups.

Respondents emphasised the importance of a statutory aggravation to cover crimes against people with protected characteristics (i.e. disability) that are not motivated by hatred and/or prejudice.  This was accompanied by calls to improve access to justice for those with learning difficulties, improving the appropriate adult service for people with mental illness and improved access to victim-centred support provided by staff with appropriate expertise.

Respondents generally also supported (55% of organisations, 52% of individuals) the retention of the requirement for courts to state the extent to which the sentence imposed is different from what would have been imposed in the absence of the aggravation (including for age).  Reasons included increased confidence in a more transparent justice system and sending a clear message to perpetrators about the unacceptability of this form of criminality.

Contributions from disability organisations in response to the consultation included: 

  • Advocating Together (Dundee)
  • SCIO;
  • British Deaf Association Scotland;
  • Deaf Scotland;
  • ENABLE;
  • Glasgow Disability Alliance;
  • Inclusion Scotland;
  • People First (Scotland);
  • Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded;
  • Scottish Commission for Learning Disability.

Additional Stakeholder Engagement

Following the publication of Lord Bracadale’s review, a number of stakeholder engagement events were held in summer 2018 to help inform the development of the Scottish Government public consultation.  This included an event with disability organisations.

The following disability organisations attended

  • Health and Social Care Alliance;
  • Scottish Ethnic Minority Deaf Club;
  • People First Scotland;
  • Scottish Council on Deafness;
  • ENABLE;
  • British Deaf Association Scotland;
  • Disability Agenda Association
  • Scottish Commission for Learning Disability
  • Sense Scotland

Much of the discussion centred around the issue of vulnerability and the majority of those in attendance supported Lord Bracadale’s recommendation to introduce a general aggravation covering exploitation and vulnerability outwith hate crime. Although it was noted that defining vulnerability would prove challenging and that many disabled people do not consider themselves vulnerable.

The importance of recognising less visible disabilities was also highlighted. It was noted that many members of the deaf community do not consider themselves disabled.

YouthLink Scotland Events

The Scottish Government provided grant funding for YouthLink Scotland to host consultation events with children and young people on what should be included in the new hate crime legislation. 

The young people that took part in these events were supportive of the extension of the stirring up of hatred offences for all characteristics, including disability.

They also discussed hidden disability and the need for hate crime against people with hidden disabilities to be taken seriously. It was viewed that hate crime against people with hidden disabilities is often treated as banter and often there is a lack of reporting by the victim.

Primary Source - Equality Evidence Finder[28]

Scottish Health Survey 2018[29]

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017-18[30]

Scottish Household

Survey 2018[31]

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland[32]

Hate Crime in Scotland 2018-19[33]

Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2017-18[34]

Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland[35]

One Scotland: consultation on current hate crime legislation[36]

Consultation on Scottish Hate

Crime Legislation[37]

Consultation on amending Scottish hate crime legislation:

analysis of responses[38]

Programme of multi stakeholder engagement events

YouthLink Scotland Events[39]

There are a range of high level statistics on demographics surrounding disability.

Information on the disability status of victims and perpetrators is not available for police recorded crime, however results are available  from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (which includes crimes not reported to the police).

The Scottish Government is engaging with Police Scotland as they develop the information they hold on hate crime, including reviewing a large sample of police recorded hate crimes to investigate further the characteristics and circumstances of these cases (including analysis of disability related hate crimes). It is anticipated that a report on the findings of this exercise will be published in 2020.

Qualitative data availability around disability is primarily based on Lord Bracadale’s Review, the One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here consultation and further engagement sessions with stakeholders

Sex

Statistical Evidence

Demographics

Scotland had a relatively even split between men and women.  2018 figures show that was, with 51% women and 49% men, although this varied amongst age groups.

Experiences of crime

The, Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, found that in 2017/18, 14% of adults reported that they had been insulted, pestered or intimidated in any way by someone outwith their household, an increase from 10% in 2012/13.

Additionally, 10% of victims of harassment thought their sex, gender identity or perception of this was a possible motivating factor while 63% of harassment victims in 2017/18 did not think any of their characteristics were an influencing factor in their most recent experience.

The most recent findings from the, Scottish Household Survey, in 2018 found that 8% of adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and 6% had experienced harassment in Scotland at some point over the last 12 months. The survey showed that 10% of those who reported experiencing harassment and 8% who reported experiencing discrimination said it was motivated by their sex or gender.

There was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of men and women who were victims of crime in 2017/18, at 12.8% and 12.1% respectively. That said, we know men and women can experience crime differently, with the SCJS also showing that women are more likely than men to have experienced partner abuse.

However, women were less likely than men to feel safe walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark in 2017/18 (66% compared to 89% of men).

Statistics from, Criminal Proceedings in Scotland 2017-18, reported that the number of convictions per 1,000 population has declined over the last ten years from 26 in 2008-09 to 17 in 2017-18.  This fall has been driven by a decline for males, down to 28 convictions per 1,000 population in 2017-18 from 46 in 2008-09. The rate for females has also declined over the ten year period although much more gradually, from eight convictions per 1,000 population in 2008-09 to six in 2017-18.

There has been a relatively large rise in custodial sentences for women aged 31-40, from 378 in 2016-17 to 496 in 2017-18.

Lord Bracadale’s Review

Lord Bracadale recommended that a statutory aggravation on gender hostility be included within modernised hate crime legislation. 

However a number of women’s organisations were strongly opposed to this approach, calling for the development of a standalone offence for misogynistic harassment outwith hate crime legislation.  Some organisations believe that the development of a specific offence would recognise that the reality of violence against women is a complex issue and requires a considered approach.  Their concerns are that creating a gender aggravation would lead to a failure to deal effectively with violence against women and girls, and they are not convinced that the hate crime framework provides an appropriate model for dealing with gender based violence. 

On 26 November 2019 Engender published their report, ‘Making women safer in Scotland: the case for a standalone misogyny offence’ which sets outs some of their key arguments.  They concluded that:

We are of the view that a ‘gender aggravation’ would be a mistake. It would not fill the gaps in the law. It would undermine our shared analysis of violence against women and girls. International experience suggests that we would see very few investigations, prosecutions, and convictions because it is not a model that aligns well with public understanding of women’s inequality. Instead, we are calling for a participatory development process for a standalone offence that would include the most iniquitous forms of misogynistic harassment and abuse.’

Lord Bracadale also recommended the introduction of stirring up offences for all existing and any new characteristics, including for gender. He believes that this would help to tackle online misogyny in particular.

Consultation

Within the Scottish Government consultation, One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here, which ran from 14 November 2018 to 24 February 2019, views were sought on how best to tackle gender based prejudice and misogyny.

A number of options were presented in the consultation as we were already aware of mixed views in this area. Four options were presented:

  • develop a statutory aggravation for gender hostility;
  • develop a standalone offence for misogynistic harassment;
  • take a non-legislative approach and build on Equally Safe to tackle misogyny; or
  • all of the identified options.

In general, organisational respondents supported a legislative response to help tackle the issue of misogyny. Organisations were more likely to favour the development of a statutory aggravation for gender hostility rather than the development of a standalone offence for misogynistic harassment.  They also generally supported building on the Equally Safe strategy, and it was common for organisations to say that any legislative approach to tackling misogynistic harassment should be complemented by efforts to change attitudes in society towards women and girls.  However, some stakeholders (particularly Engender, Rape Crisis Scotland, Scottish Women’s Aid and Zero Tolerance) did not want a statutory aggravation on gender to be included in hate crime legislation and have called for the development of a standalone offence for misogyny to tackle the unique features of violence and harassment against women.  They are not convinced that the hate crime framework provides an appropriate model for dealing with gender based violence. Individuals generally expressed opposition to, or mixed views on all four options.

Issues raised by respondents across all four questions related to whether any legislative response to tackle hate crimes against women should provide protection to women only, or to both women and men.  There was not consensus on this issue, although organisations with expertise in women’s issues believed that the focus should be on women only.  Some respondents also said that the protected characteristic specified in the Equality Act 2010 was ‘sex’, not ‘gender’ and that this should be reflected in hate crime laws.

Currently courts are required to publically state the extent to which the statutory aggravation altered the length of the sentence.

Contributions from women’s organisations in response to the consultation included: 

  • Angus Child Protection Committee, Adult Protection Committee and Violence Against Women Partnership
  • Glasgow Violence Against Women Partnership
  • Engender
  • Rape Crisis Scotland
  • Scottish Women’s Aid
  • Stirling Gender Based Violence Partnership
  • Wise Women
  • Women and Girls in Scotland
  • Zero Tolerance

Additional Stakeholder Engagement

Following the publication of Lord Bracadale’s review, a number of stakeholder engagement events were held in summer 2018 to help inform the development of the Scottish Government public consultation.  This included an event with women’s organisations. The following women’s organisations attended:

  • ASSIST, Community Safety Glasgow
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • City of Glasgow Council
  • Engender
  • SACRO
  • Scottish Women’s Aid
  • Scottish Women’s Convention
  • Zero Tolerance

Across the engagement sessions there were mixed views expressed by the different attendees. Some organisations believed that a statutory aggravation on gender would be more workable in practice than a standalone offence for misogyny and that the latter would be too significant a legislative step. Others supported the development of standalone offence. 

Following the consultation, a number of further meetings were held with various women’s organisations to explore options for how gender might be included, or not, within this Bill.  It remained clear that there were mixed views amongst stakeholders in regards to whether a statutory aggravation should be introduced or not in hate crime legislation in relation to gender.  However there was broad support for the establishment of a Working Group to review how criminal law deals more broadly with misogyny. 

YouthLink Scotland Events

The Scottish Government provided grant funding for YouthLink Scotland to host consultation events with children and young people on what should be included in the new hate crime legislation. 

The young people that took part in these events were supportive of developing a statutory aggravation for gender hostility. There was a strong feeling that any new legislation should be inclusive for both men and women and therefore there should not be a standalone offence for misogyny.

Primary Source - Equality Evidence Finder[40]

Mid-2018 Population Estimates Scotland[41]

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017‑18[42]

Scottish Household

Survey 2018[43]

Criminal Proceedings in Scotland 2017-18[44]

Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland[45]

Making women safer in Scotland: the case for a standalone misogyny offence[46]

One Scotland: consultation on current hate crime legislation[47]

Consultation on Scottish Hate

Crime Legislation[48]

Consultation on amending Scottish hate crime legislation: analysis of responses[49]

Programme of multi stakeholder engagement events

YouthLink Scotland Events[50]

There is a range of high level statistics for demographics surrounding sex.

Information on the sex of victims and perpetrators is not generally available for police recorded crime, however quantitative data around sex for general crime is available from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (which includes crimes not reported to the police).

No figures are available for hate crime and sex as this is not currently a characteristic in existing hate crime legislation, nor is the existing hate crime data disaggregated in this way.

Qualitative data availability around sex is primarily based on Lord Bracadale’s Review, the One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here consultation and further engagement sessions with stakeholders.

Pregnancy and Maternity

Statistical Evidence

Demographics

The average age of mothers rose from 26.0 in 1975 to 30.6 in 2018. Similarly, the average age of fathers (excluding births registered in the mother's name only, where the father's details were not provided) rose from 28.4 in 1975 to 33.1 in 2018. Since 1975 the average age of parents has increased by more than 4 years for both fathers (4.7) and mother (4.6).

Maternal obesity continues to increase. More than half (52.7%) of expectant women were overweight or obese compared with 48.5% in 2010/11.

A report commissioned by the Word Health Organisation (WHO) states that, not unlike other forms of stigmatization (on the grounds of race, class, ability, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), obesity stigma is associated with significant physiological and psychological consequences, including increased depression and anxiety, disordered eating, and decreased self-esteem.

Teenage pregnancy rates in Scotland are at their lowest level since reporting began in 1994. Rates decreased for the tenth consecutive year from 31.7 per 1,000 women in 2016 to 30.2 in 2017.

Since 2007, rates per 1,000 in the under 20 age group have fallen by almost a half (from 57.7 to 30.2 in 2017). Similarly, rates for under 18s and under 16s decreased by more than 60% and almost 70% respectively.

Addressing weight stigma is included as an action in Scotland’s healthier future strategy.

Scotland's Population 2018 - The Registrar General's Annual Review of Demographic Trends[51]

Births in Scottish Hospitals

Year ending 31 March 2019, A National Statistics Publication for Scotland, ISD[52]

Weight bias and obesity stigma: considerations for the WHO European Region[53]

Teenage Pregnancy

Year of conception, ending 31 December 2017, A National Statistics Publication for Scotland, ISD[54]

A healthier future: Scotland's diet and healthy weight delivery plan[55]

Information is available on demographics surrounding pregnancy and maternity however no information is currently available on related hate crimes.

There is no information on weight stigma and hate crime.

Gender Reassignment

Statistical Evidence

Demographics

Around 1% of the UK population are transgender.

The Scottish Trans Alliance has stated that the number of transgender people in Scotland is not currently known accurately and many transgender people are extremely wary of revealing that they are transgender.

Experiences of crime

The most recent findings from the, Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, found that 14% of adults reported that they had been insulted, pestered or intimidated in any way by someone outwith their household - unchanged from 2008/09 and 2016/17. 

Additionally, 10% of victims of harassment thought their gender, gender identity or perception of this was a possible motivating factor while 63% of harassment victims in 2017/18 did not think any of their characteristics were an influencing factor in their most recent experience.

The most recent findings from the, Scottish Household Survey, in 2018 found that 8% of adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and 6% had experienced harassment in Scotland at some point over the last 12 months. The survey showed that 10% of those who reported experiencing harassment and 8% who reported experiencing discrimination said it was motivated by their sex or gender.

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland, reports that in 2017-18, the police recorded 82 hate crimes which included a transgender identity aggravator (including hate crimes with multiple aggravators).

Hate Crime Statistics in Scotland for 2018-19, published by COPFS reported that there were 40 charges with an aggravation of transgender identity, compared to 52 in 2017-18.  

Statistics from, Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, show that in 2017-18, 12 people were convicted in Scottish courts of an offence with an associated transgender aggravation.  Convictions with this particular aggravator remain relatively stable, decreasing marginally from 14 in 2016/17.

Lord Bracadale’s Review

Lord Bracadale recommended that,

“the drafting of any replacement for section 2 of the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009 should include ‘intersex’ as a separate category rather than a sub-category of transgender identity.  Consideration should be given to removing outdated terms such as ‘transvestism’ and ‘transsexualism’ from any definition of transgender identity (without restricting the scope of the definition)”

Since the enactment of the 2009 Act, it has become clear that there are concerns with listing ‘intersexuality’ as an aspect of transgender identity.  Intersex and transgender identity are now widely understood to be two separate and distinct characteristics (intersex being a physical condition, or range of conditions, relating to biological characteristics, and transgender identity relating to a person’s gender identity).  Whilst the wording of the 2009 Act reflected understanding of the position at the time of enactment, this is no longer the case. Therefore Lord Bracadale recommended that ‘intersexuality’ should be removed from the definition of transgender identity given the clear differences between intersex and transgender identities.  However, so as not to lose protection for this group of people, Lord Bracadale also recommended that ‘intersex’ should be a separate characteristic within hate crime law. 

Lord Bracadale also recommended introducing stirring up offences for all existing and any new characteristics, including transgender and intersex.

Consultation

Within Scottish Government consultation, One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here, which ran from 14 November 2018 to 24 February 2019, views were sought on whether variations in sex characteristics (or intersex) should be a separate category from transgender identity and if the definition of transgender identity should be updated.

Overall there were mixed views on whether intersex/variations in sex characteristics should be listed as a separate characteristic from transgender identity within hate crime law, with 58% of organisations agreeing that that intersex/variations in sex characteristics should be a separate category, compared to 27% of individuals.  Only 6% of organisations felt that intersex/variations in sex characteristics should not be listed as a separate category.

There were also mixed views on whether terms currently used in hate crime legislation in relation to transgender identity should be updated.  Only 26% of respondents agreed, however 63% of organisations agreed with only 6% disagreeing.

Respondents who favoured updating of the language for transgender identity thought it important that the law evolved and that individuals saw themselves reflected in the law. Respondents with reservations about this highlighted the difficulty of agreeing on acceptable terms that were clear and would stand the test of time.

The majority of organisations that responded were of the view that the terms ‘transvestite’ and ‘transsexual’ were outdated and should be removed from hate crime legislation.  Those groups, including those representing the LGBT community, generally favoured the terms ‘trans’ and/or ‘transgender’ as umbrella terms covering a range of sub-groups. Within their consultation response, the Equality Network defined transgender as ‘people who find their gender identity or gender expression differs from the gender they were assigned at birth. This includes, among other identities, non-binary people, transwomen, transmen and cross-dressing people’.

Some respondents, including dsdfamilies, argued that the creation of a separate intersex/variations in sex characteristics category was neither appropriate nor helpful when wider consideration of intersex issues was needed.  However, the Equality Network welcome the inclusion of intersex/variations in sex characteristics as a separate category within hate crime legislation.  They believe that ‘intersex’ people, or people perceived to be intersex, can face ‘intersex-phobic hate crime’. 

In one of their hate crime research reports, the Equality Network found that 29% of intersex respondents had experienced hate crime based on being intersex (although noting the small number of respondents). However they state that more research is needed into intersex-specific hate crime.

It is also worth highlighting that a number of respondents to the consultation expressed a preference for the terms, ‘differences in sex development’ or ‘variation in sex characteristics’ as opposed to the term ‘intersex’, which they indicated covered a very wide range of conditions.

There was some concern among stakeholders that the extension of stirring up offences may not go far enough in providing the level of protection required to the LGBTI community.  The basis of this was that certain behaviours that can often lead to violence are not always threatening or abusive and therefore  the offence should apply where it is ‘insulting’ as well as ‘threatening’ and ‘abusive’.

Respondents generally also supported (55% of organisations, 52% of individuals) the retention of the requirement for courts to state the extent to which the sentence imposed is different from what would have been imposed in the absence of the aggravation (including for transgender identity and intersex/VSC).  Reasons included increased confidence in a more transparent justice system and sending a clear message to perpetrators about the unacceptability of this form of criminality.

Contributions from LGBT organisations in response to the consultation included: 

  • Equality Network/Scottish Trans Alliance
  • LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • LGBT Youth Scotland
  • Scottish Bi+ Network
  • Stonewall Scotland
  • dsdfamilies

Additional Stakeholder Engagement

Following the publication of Lord Bracadale’s review, a number of stakeholder engagement events were held in summer 2018 to help inform the development of the Scottish Government public consultation. This included an event with LGBTI organisations.

The following organisations attended:

  • Equality Network
  • LGBT Youth Scotland
  • Stonewall Scotland

One of the principal concerns raised by the attendees was whether introducing stirring up offences would go far enough in protecting the transgender community from harassment.

In August 2019 a further meeting was held to discuss proposals. Attendees included:

  • Equality Network;
  • Scottish Trans Alliance;
  • Stonewall Scotland;
  • LGBT Health & Wellbeing

The group agreed that the legislation should be as broad as possible in order to future-proof the legislation. Definitions used should reflect the fact that hate crime is committed based on the perpetrator’s ‘perception’. However, it is also important to ensure that communities recognise themselves as protected within the legislation, including those who use older/ outdated terminology.

The group also agreed that ‘variations in sex characteristics’ should be used instead of, or alongside, intersex. The group were also content for intersex to be included as a separate category outwith transgender identity.

YouthLink Scotland Events

The Scottish Government provided grant funding for YouthLink Scotland to host consultation events with children and young people on what should be included in the new hate crime legislation. 

The group agreed that the terms used in Scottish hate crime legislation in relation to transgender identity and intersex should be updated. 

The majority view was that intersex should be a separate characteristic from transgender identity. This was because intersex is viewed as being different than transgender identity and therefore those who identify as intersex may not necessarily identify with the transgender community.

In regards to transgender, participants agreed that the term ‘transvestite’ should no longer be used in legislation as it is outdated. It was agreed that transgender identity should be used as an umbrella to term to include transsexual, non-binary. The following terms were also suggested:

  • Gender expression/performance
  • Drag performance artists and cross dressing

Primary Source - Equality Evidence Finder[56]

Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) – The number of Gender Variant People in the UK (update 2011)[57]

Scottish Trans Article on Equal Monitoring[58]

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017 18[59]

Scottish Household

Survey 2018[60]

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland[61]

Hate Crime in Scotland 2018-19[62]

Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2017-18[63]

Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland[64]

One Scotland: consultation on current hate crime legislation[65]

Consultation on Scottish Hate Crime Legislation[66]

Consultation on amending Scottish hate crime legislation: analysis of responses[67]

Programme of multi stakeholder engagement events

YouthLink Scotland Events[68]

Limited information is available on demographics surrounding transgender identity/gender reassignment.

Information on the transgender identity of victims and perpetrators is not available from police recorded crime data, however survey data does provide related information on discrimination and harassment.

The Scottish Government is engaging with Police Scotland as they develop the information they hold on hate crime, including reviewing a large sample of police recorded hate crimes to investigate further the characteristics and circumstances of these cases (including analysis of transgender identity related hate crimes). It is anticipated that a report on the findings of this exercise will be published in 2020.

Qualitative data availability around gender reassignment is primarily based on Lord Bracadale’s Review, the One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here consultation and further engagement sessions with stakeholders.

Sexual Orientation

Statistical Evidence

Demographics

In 2017 around 3% of adults surveyed identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or other.  However, it should be noted that this survey likely undercounts the number of adults self-identifying as LGBT as respondents may not be comfortable being open with this form of interview process.

Experiences of Crime

The most recent findings from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey found that 14% of adults reported that they had been insulted, pestered or intimidated in any way by someone outwith their household - unchanged from 2008/09 and 2016/17. 

Additionally, 6% of victims of harassment thought their sexual orientation or perception of this may have been a motivating factor in their most recent (or only) experience of harassment while 63% of harassment victims in 2017/18 did not think any of their characteristics were an influencing factor in their most recent experience.

The most recent findings from the, Scottish Household Survey, in 2018 found that 8% of adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and 6% had experienced harassment in Scotland at some point over the last 12 months. Some groups were more likely than others to report this including people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual, of whom 25% reported experiencing discrimination and 23% reported experiencing harassment.  A further 4% of those who reported experiencing harassment or discrimination said it was motivated by their sexual orientation.

Evidence from a YouGov poll conducted on behalf of Stonewall around LGBT hate crime found that 20% of respondents reported that they had experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months. This figure was 17% of lesbian, gay and bi people who weren't trans. The survey found that 21% of LGBT people in Scotland who identified as female had experienced a hate crime or incident, compared to 17% of those who identified as male.

The Britain-wide results of this Stonewall survey showed that LGBT people as a whole were more likely to experience hate crime or incidents if they are minority ethnic, disabled or belong to a non-Christian faith. Overall, 21% of LGBT people in Britain had experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last year, as of 2017, but this rose to 34% for those who were minority ethnic, 30% for those of a non-Christian faith, and 27% for disabled LGBT people.

In Great Britain as a whole, lesbians were more likely than bisexual women to have experienced a hate crime or incident (21% vs 14%). And 8% of LGBT women in Britain said that they had been the direct target of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse online in the last month. 

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland, reports that in 2017-18, the police recorded 1,224 hate crimes which included a sexual orientation aggravator (including hate crimes with multiple aggravators).

Sexual orientation aggravated crime is the second most common type of hate crime as recorded in, Hate Crime in Scotland 2018-19, by COPFS.  The number of charges reported to COPFS increased by 5% in 2018-19 to 1,176. With the exception of 2014-15, there have been year on year increases in charges reported since the legislation introducing this aggravation came into force in 2010.

Statistics from, Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, show that in 2017-18, 354 people were convicted in Scottish courts of an offence with an associated sexual orientation aggravation.  Convictions with this particular aggravator remain relatively stable, falling marginally from 356 in 2016/17.

Lord Bracadale’s Review

Sexual orientation is already included in the characteristics covered by hate crime legislation. Lord Bracadale recommended introducing stirring up of hatred offences for all existing and any new characteristics, including sexual orientation (currently stirring up of hatred offences only exist in relation to race).  He recommended this to ensure parity with all characteristics covered by hate crime legislation.

Consultation

Within the Scottish Government consultation, One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here, which ran from 14 November 2018 to 24 February 2019, views were sought on the above recommendations.

Results from consultation showed that 69% of organisations agreed with the introduction of stirring up offences for each protected characteristic.

Organisations representing the LGBT community provided evidence and examples of the abuse experienced to support the case for introducing additional stirring up offences and that it would send a clear message about the unacceptability of such behaviour.

Furthermore, establishing stirring up offences for all characteristics would be helpful in supporting consistent data gathering and monitoring of abusive and threatening conduct targeted at different groups.

Respondents generally also supported (55% of organisations, 52% of individuals) the retention of the requirement for courts to state the extent to which the sentence imposed is different from what would have been imposed in the absence of the aggravation (including for sexual orientation).  Reasons included increased confidence in a more transparent justice system and sending a clear message to perpetrators about the unacceptability of this form of criminality.

Contributions from LGBT organisations in response to the consultation included: 

  • LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • LGBT Youth Scotland
  • Scottish Bi+ Network
  • Stonewall Scotland

Additional Stakeholder Engagement

Following the publication of Lord Bracadale’s review, the Scottish Government held a number of stakeholder engagement events in summer 2018 to help inform the Scottish Government public consultation. This included an event with LGBTI organisations. The following organisations attended:

  • Equality Network
  • LGBT Youth Scotland
  • Stonewall Scotland

Some concerns were raised by representatives regarding the low number of charges following the 2012 Act and whether this was down to lack of information or public interest.

However, the majority of organisations were very supportive of the proposals to expand stirring up offences to sexual orientation and all other characteristics.

In August 2019 a further meeting was held to discuss proposals. Attendees included:

  • Equality Network;
  • Scottish Trans Alliance;
  • Stonewall Scotland;
  • LGBT Health & Wellbeing

The group agreed that this legislation should not aim to change the definition of sexual orientation.

YouthLink Scotland Events

The Scottish Government provided grant funding for YouthLink Scotland to host consultation events with children and young people on what should be included in the new hate crime legislation. 

The young people that took part in these events were supportive of the extension of the stirring up of hatred offences for all protected characteristics, including sexual orientation. 

Primary Source - Equality Evidence Finder[69]

Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2017[70]

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017‑18[71]

Scottish Household

Survey 2018[72]

Stonewall Scotland Report[73]

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland[74]

Hate Crime in Scotland 2018-19[75]

Criminal Proceedings 2017-18[76]

Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland[77]

One Scotland: consultation on current hate crime legislation[78]

Consultation on Scottish Hate

Crime Legislation[79]

Consultation on amending Scottish hate crime legislation: analysis of responses[80]

Programme of multi stakeholder engagement events

YouthLink Scotland Events[81]

Limited information is available on demographics surrounding sexual orientation.

Information on the sexual orientation of victims and perpetrators is not available from police recorded crime, however survey results provide related data on discrimination and harassment.

The Scottish Government is engaging with Police Scotland as they develop the information they hold on hate crime, including reviewing a large sample of police recorded hate crimes to investigate further the characteristics and circumstances of these cases (including analysis of sexual orientation related hate crimes). It is anticipated that a report on the findings of this exercise will be published in 2020.

Qualitative data availability around sexual orientation is primarily based on Lord Bracadale’s Review, the One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here consultation and further engagement sessions with stakeholders.

Race

Statistical Evidence

Demographics

In the 2011 Census, the size of the minority ethnic population was just over 200,000 or 4% of the total population of Scotland (based on the 2011 ethnicity classification) - this has doubled since 2001 when just over 100,000 or 2% of the total population of Scotland (based on the 2001 ethnicity classification) were from a minority ethnic group.

The Asian population was the largest minority ethnic group (3% of the total population or 141,000 people) and has seen an increase of one percentage point (69,000) since 2001.

Just over 1% (1.2% or 61,000) of the population recorded their ethnic group as White: Polish. The cities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen had the highest proportions at 3% of their total population.

Results from the, Scottish Household Survey 2018, found that the number of Asian adults has increased from 2.2% to 2.6% in years 2013-18.

Findings from the same survey found the number of Polish adults had increased from 1.2% to 1.9% in years 2013-17 but had fallen slightly to 1.6% in 2018.

Experiences of Crime

The, Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, found that in 2017/18, 14% of adults reported that they had been insulted, pestered or intimidated in any way by someone outwith their household, an increase from 10% in 2012/13.

Additionally, 9% of victims of harassment thought their ethnic origin or race or perception of this was a possible motivating factor while 63% of harassment victims in 2017/18 did not think any of their characteristics were an influencing factor in their most recent experience.

The most recent findings from the, Scottish Household Survey, in 2018 found that 8% of adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and 6% had experienced harassment in Scotland at some point over the last 12 months. Some groups were more likely than others to report this including ethnic minorities, of whom 17% reported experiencing discrimination and 11% reported experiencing harassment. A further 11% of those who reported experiencing harassment or discrimination said it was motivated by their ethnicity.

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland, reports that in 2017-18, the police recorded 4,765 hate crimes which included a race aggravator (including hate crimes with multiple aggravators).

Racial crime remains the most commonly reported hate crime.  The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) published Hate Crime in Scotland statistics which reported 2,880 charges relating to race crime in 2018-19, a decrease of 12% compared to 2017-18. This is 37% lower than the peak in such charges in 2011-12, when 4,547 charges were reported. It is also the lowest annual figure since consistent figures became available in 2003-04, and the first time the figure has fallen below 3,000.

Statistics from, Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, show that in 2017-18, 650 people were convicted in Scottish courts of an offence with an associated racial aggravation, down 10% from 719 in 2016-17.

The most recent, Racist Incidents Recorded by the Police in Scotland, report suggests that in 2013-14, where the ethnicity of the victim/complainer was known, those with a ‘Pakistani’ ethnic background were the most likely to be the victim/complainer of a racist incident recorded by the police with 224.2 victims/complainers per 10,000 population.

This was followed by ‘African, Caribbean or Other Black’ with 189.9 victims/complainers recorded per 10,000 population. The Scottish average across all ethnic backgrounds was 10.6 victims/complainers per 10,000 population.

Lord Bracadale’s Review

Section 50A

Lord Bracadale recommended to repeal section 50A of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995

Stirring up of racial hatred

Lord Bracadale recommended that the existing offences concerning stirring up of racial hatred should be retained and consolidated into the Bill.  He also recommended that the threshold for behaviour likely to stir up hatred amounting to an offence should be revised to cover behaviour that is “threatening or abusive” in line with his recommendation for the threshold for new offences concerning stirring up of hatred (that is, the term ‘insulting’ should be removed). 

Consultation

Within the Scottish Government consultation, One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here, which ran from 14 November 2018 to 24 February 2019, views were sought on the above recommendations.

Section 50A

In response to whether section 50A should be repealed, approximately 34% (152 respondents) supported the repeal and approximately 25% (114 respondents) opposed repeal.  A further 41% (187 respondents) said they had ‘no opinion’.  There were mixed views among both individuals and organisations on this issue. Organisations were more likely than individuals to say ‘yes’ to repeal (50% compared to 31% respectively), and individuals were more likely than organisations to say they had ‘no opinion’ on the issue (43% compared to 28% respectively).

Those supporting the repeal of section 50A often cited the importance of clarity within the law and the need to avoid complicating hate crime legislation.  Several respondents noted that there is no equivalent to the section 50A offence in relation to any other characteristic within hate crime legislation, and felt that there was a need for consistency in approach across all of the characteristics.

The main concern expressed by organisations opposed to repeal of section 50A was that repeal could be viewed as a reduction in the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle racial harassment and send out the wrong message to society as a whole and particularly to BME communities regarding the importance of tackling race related hate crime.  Consequently it could therefore damage relationships with ethnic minority communities.

Another common concern among respondents who were against any repeal was that it would result in a gap in the law.

Stirring up of racial hatred

In response to the consultation, there were mixed views on the option of revising existing provisions concerning the stirring up of racial hatred so that they are formulated in the same way as the other proposed stirring up hatred offences (i.e. remove the term ‘insulting’) – 45% of total respondents agreed, 32% disagreed, and 23% said that they were unsure (representing 299, 211, and 156 out of a total of 666 respondents).  However, organisations were more likely than individuals to answer ‘yes’ to this question (63% compared to 43%), while individuals were more likely than organisations to answer ‘no’ (34% compared to 14%).

Organisations that did not wish to see the reformulation of existing race provisions (mainly third sector bodies) were generally concerned that this might make the prosecution of stirring up of racial hatred cases more difficult.  A few individuals also expressed this concern.  These respondents felt that the inclusion of ‘insulting’ conduct within the current formulation of the stirring up racial hatred offence had merit in capturing apparently low level conduct (sometimes persistent in nature) that could be experienced as ‘abusive’ or ‘threatening’ by the individuals at whom it was targeted.

Respondents who agreed that existing provisions concerning the stirring up of racial hatred should be reformulated to reflect the other proposed stirring up hatred offences thought that consistency across offences was important. 

Organisational respondents offering this view generally supported consistency by bringing the wording of the current stirring up of racial hatred offence into line with the wording of the proposed additional stirring up offences. 

Individuals who expressed support for consistent wording were also supportive of the proposal to exclude the reference to ‘insulting’ conduct.

Sentencing

Respondents generally also supported (55% of organisations, 52% of individuals) the retention of the requirement for courts to state the extent to which the sentence imposed is different from what would have been imposed in the absence of the aggravation (including for race).  Reasons included increased confidence in a more transparent justice system and sending a clear message to perpetrators about the unacceptability of this form of criminality.

Contributions from race equality organisations included:

  • BEMIS;
  • CEMVO;
  • CRER;
  • CSREC;
  • GREC;
  • Score Scotland;
  • WSREC.

Additional Stakeholder Engagement

Following the publication of Lord Bracadale’s review, a number of stakeholder engagement events were held in summer 2018 to help inform the development of the Scottish Government public consultation. This included an event with race equality organisations.

The following race equality organisations attended: 

  • BEMIS;
  • CEMVO;
  • CRER;
  • CSREC;
  • Score Scotland;
  • WSREC.

One of the biggest concerns expressed by the representatives centred around the proposed repeal of section 50A.  There was a belief that doing so could have a counter-productive effect thereby diluting the protections for race, with a risk of losing focus on the needs of victims.

Additional discussion points included the need for improvements to third party reporting so as to better support victims and increased use of restorative justice when appropriate while ensuring victims continue to be properly protected. 

Further meetings have been held with race equality organisations where their concerns in regards to Lord Bracadale’s recommendation to repeal section 50A were discussed further.

YouthLink Scotland Events

The Scottish Government provided grant funding for YouthLink Scotland to host consultation events with children and young people on what should be included in the new hate crime legislation.

The young people that took part in these events were supportive of the extension of the stirring up of hatred offences for all protected characteristics.  They were also generally agreed that section 50A should be repealed because all hate crime characteristics should be treated equally. There was however, a strong view that Section 50A should only be repealed if there is a change to the recommended language in section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 to include fear, alarm and distress. It was felt that all three terms are important and should be included.

Primary Source -

Equality Evidence Finder[82]

2011 Census: Release 2A[83]

Scottish Household Survey 2018[84]

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017/18[85]

Scottish Household Survey 2018[86]

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland[87]

Hate Crime in Scotland 2018-19[88]

Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2017-18[89]

Racist Incidents Recorded by the Police in Scotland, 2013-14[90]

Independent Review of Hate

Crime Legislation in Scotland[91]

One Scotland: consultation on current hate crime legislation[92]

Consultation on Scottish Hate

Crime Legislation[93]

Consultation on amending Scottish hate crime legislation: analysis of responses[94]

Programme of multi stakeholder engagement events

YouthLink Scotland Events[95]

Information is available on demographics surrounding race.

Information on the race of victims and perpetrators is not available from police recorded crime, however survey results provide related data on discrimination and harassment.

The Scottish Government is engaging with Police Scotland as they develop the information they hold on hate crime, including reviewing a large sample of police recorded hate crimes to investigate further the characteristics and circumstances of these cases (including analysis of race related hate crimes). It is anticipated that a report on the findings of this exercise will be published in 2020.

Qualitative data availability around race is primarily based on Lord Bracadale’s Review, the One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here consultation and further engagement sessions with stakeholders.

Religion Or Belief

Statistical Evidence

Demographics

In 2018, 46% of the adult population identified as Christian (Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic and Other Christian).

Over the past decade there has been an increase in the proportion of adults reporting not belonging to a religion, from 40% in 2009 to half of adults (50%) in 2018.

There has also been a corresponding decrease in the proportion reporting belonging to 'Church of Scotland', from 32% to 23%.

Experiences of Crime

The, Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, found that in 2017/18, 14% of adults reported that they had been insulted, pestered or intimidated in any way by someone outwith their household, an increase from 10% in 2012/13.

Additionally, 2% of victims of harassment thought their religion may have been a motivating factor in their most recent (or only) experience of harassment; 4% of victims thought sectarianism may have been a factor; and 63% of harassment victims in 2017/18 did not think any of their characteristics were an influencing factor in their most recent experience.

Combined data from both the, 2016-17 and 2017-18 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, shows that adults who identified their religion as either Church of Scotland (10.2%) or ‘Other Christian’ (10.2%) were less likely to have been victims of crime in the year prior to interview than for those who had no religion (14.2%), were Roman Catholic (15.0%), or were ‘another’ religion (17.7%).

The most recent findings from the, Scottish Household Survey, in 2018 found that 8% of adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and 6% had experienced harassment in Scotland at some point over the last 12 months. Some groups were more likely than others to report this including belong to a religion other than Christianity, of whom 17% reported experiencing discrimination and 15% reported experiencing harassment.  A further 7% of those who reported experiencing harassment and 5% who reported experiencing discrimination said it was motivated by their religion.

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland, reports that in 2017-18, the police recorded 711 hate crimes which included a religion aggravator (including hate crimes with multiple aggravators).

The most recent statistics published by COPFS on, Hate Crime in Scotland 2018-19, reports that there were 529 charges with a religious aggravation reported in 2018-19, which is 18% fewer than in 2017-18. This is the lowest number of such charges reported since 2004-05, shortly after the relevant legislation was introduced, when 479 were reported.

Statistics from, Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, show that in 2017-18, 249 people were convicted in Scottish courts of an offence with an associated religious aggravation, down 10% from 278 in 2016-17.

There has been a decrease of 18% in the number of charges since 2017-18 (649 charges in 2017-18 to 529 charges this year).  Owing to the impact of the repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act 2012, any direct comparisons between 2018-19 and previous years should be treated with caution.

However, charges reported by the COPFS have remained similar (noting a slight decrease from 2010-11 to 2018-19) in the last nine years: 2010-11 (694); 2011-12 (896); 2012-13 (689); 2013-14 (591); 2014-15 (567); 2015-16 (591); 2016-17 (678); 2017-18 (649) and 2018-19 (529).

An analysis of charges reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service of Scotland (COPFS) with a religious aggravation under section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act in the previous year 2017-18, reported that Roman Catholicism is the religion that was most often the subject of offending.

In 2017/18, the proportion of charges where Roman Catholicism was the subject of offending was 50% (319 charges) followed by Protestantism (27%, 174 charges), Islam (18%, 115 charges) and Judaism (3%, 21 charges).

As with previous years, Glasgow had the highest concentration of charges with 173 (27% of total charges) and the highest charges per head of population with 28 per 100,000 population.  Police officers were the most common target for religiously aggravated abuse.  In 2017-18 there were 277 charges (43%) where the police was the victim, a similar proportion to 2016-17 (44%).

Lord Bracadale’s Review

Lord Bracadale recommended that it was not necessary to create a statutory aggravation to extend the religious aggravation provision to capture religious or other beliefs held by an individual rather than a group.

Lord Bracadale also recommended that provision should be made to protect freedom of expression, similar to that contained at sections 29J of the Public Order Act 1986, which provides for offences of stirring up hatred on grounds of religion in England and Wales.  This provides that the offence should not be read as prohibiting or restricting discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system.

Lord Bracadale also noted the Justice Committee’s recommendation that the Scottish Government give consideration to introducing a sectarian definition in Scots Law. Lord Bracadale recommended that no new offence or statutory aggravation should be introduced at this stage in regards to sectarianism, although he did acknowledge the separate work on this by the Working Group on Defining Sectarianism in Scots Law and that their findings may provide more detail for Scottish Ministers and Parliament to debate the issue.

Lord Bracadale also concluded that the repeal of section 6 of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 (“the OBFTCA”)  has left a gap in the law in Scotland with regards religious hatred, which, alongside race and sexual orientation, accounts for a significant proportion of recorded hate crime offending in Scotland. Therefore a stirring up of religious hatred offence will help close this gap.

The Working Group On Defining Sectarianism In Scots Law

As part of our consultation on Lord Bracadale’s recommendations , we also consulted on the Working Group on Defining Sectarianism in Scots Law.

The Working Group recommended the development of a new statutory aggravation for sectarian hate crime based on a mix of racial and religious prejudice; provided a draft definition; and recommended that this should be taken forward as part of the Scottish Government’s work to develop consolidated and modernised hate crime legislation.

Consultation

Within the Scottish Government consultation, One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here, which ran from 14 November 2018 to 24 February 2019, views were sought on whether the religious aggravation should be extended to capture religious or other beliefs held by an individual rather than a group and whether there should be an aggravation added to cover sectarianism.

Religious or other beliefs held by an individual

In regards to religious or other beliefs held by an individual, a total of 61% (313) of respondents were opposed to extending the existing religious statutory aggravation to include religious or other beliefs held by an individual.  However, certain organisations believed that Lord Bracadale’s interpretation of the protected characteristic of ‘religion’ as relating only to defined religious groups was too narrow and not in line with existing human rights legislation which did afford equal religious protection to both groups and individuals.  They also cited increased instances of intra-religious hostility and the victimisation of ‘apostates’ (people who have left a religious group).  In contrast, those opposed to extension of the religious aggravation argued that, by definition, hate crime should apply only to crimes motivated by prejudice towards a particular group.

Sectarianism

Following the conclusions reached by both the Working Group on Defining Sectarianism in Scots Law and Lord Bracadale, the feedback from individuals attending the consultation events and the consultation responses showed a similar mix of opinions and opposing views.  However the majority of respondents (59%; 311 out of 527) did not think there was a need to address and define sectarianism in hate crime legislation, while 26% (139 out of 527) thought it should be defined, and 15% (77 out of 527) were ‘unsure’.  Organisations who responded had more mixed views on this issue with 63 responding, 46% (29) did not think there was a need to address and define sectarianism, 22% (14) thought it should be defined and addressed and 32% (20) were unsure.

Blasphemy

As well as considering recommendations made by Lord Bracadale, the consultation included a question on whether anything else should be included within the Bill that wasn’t already addressed within the consultation.

Only 288 respondents (41 organisations and 247 individuals) responded, and most reiterated points already covered in their responses to other questions.  One significant theme to emerge was the call for blasphemy laws to be abolished in Scotland. 

As well as calls from the Humanist society of Scotland and the National Secular Society of Scotland, 45 individuals also supported the abolishment of blasphemy laws. 

Stirring up / freedom of expression

A substantial majority of respondents (80%; 844 out of 1,051 respondents) disagreed with the introduction of stirring up offences for each protected characteristic. However, most organisations (69%; 55 out of 80 respondents) agreed.

Those who supported the introduction of new stirring up offences thought this would achieve parity for all groups, and would recognise the gravity of hate crimes and the impact on those affected. It would also support consistent data collection.

There were three main reasons for opposing new stirring up offences: disagreement with the principle of laws based on protected characteristics (this was a common view amongst individuals and faith bodies); concerns about the impact on human rights and freedom of speech; and disagreement with the need for new offences. Some supported the current standalone race offences but did not wish to see further offences introduced.

There was general agreement on the need to protect freedom of expression and uphold the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. Respondents often saw this as an issue of ‘balance’ between freedom of expression, responding to stirring up, and protecting relevant groups. However, views differed on the point at which that balance should be struck.

Sentencing

Respondents generally also supported (55% of organisations, 52% of individuals) the retention of the requirement for courts to state the extent to which the sentence imposed is different from what would have been imposed in the absence of the aggravation (including for religion).  Reasons included increased confidence in a more transparent justice system and sending a clear message to perpetrators about the unacceptability of this form of criminality.

Contributions from faith and belief organisations included:

  • Call it Out:  The campaign against anti‑Catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism
  • Humanist Society Scotland
  • National Secular Society
  • CARE for Scotland
  • Catholic Parliamentary Office of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland
  • Christian Concern
  • The Christian Institute
  • The Church of Scotland
  • Dornoch and District Christian Fellowship
  • Duncan Street Baptist Church
  • The Evangelical Alliance
  • Presbytery of the Outer Hebrides, Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland
  • Refuge Church
  • River of Life Church
  • The Scottish Churches Committee
  • Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
  • St Devenick's Church Vestry
  • Stirling Baptist Church, Social and Ethical Issues Group
  • Stornoway Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • United Free Church of Scotland Church and Society Committee

Additional Stakeholder Engagement

Following the publication of Lord Bracadale’s review, a number of stakeholder engagement events were held in summer 2018 to help inform development of the Scottish Government public consultation. This included an event with faith and belief organisations. The following faith and belief organisations attended: 

  • SCoJeC
  • Humanist Society
  • Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
  • Bishops' Conference of Scotland
  • Interfaith Scotland
  • Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association

Key issues discussed included abolition of the common law for blasphemy and the need for freedom of expression protection.

YouthLink Scotland Events

The Scottish Government provided grant funding for YouthLink Scotland to host consultation events with children and young people on what should be included in the new hate crime legislation. 

The young people that took part in these events were supportive of the extension of the stirring up of hatred offences for all protected characteristics, including religion.

The group were generally not supportive of the proposed definition as recommended by the Working Group on Defining Sectarianism in Scots Law. They thought that the Working Group’s definition should include hostility within different religions as well as Christianity. Personal examples were shared about hostility which has been shown towards them because their family belonged to a particular Muslim sect. It was accepted amongst young people that intra-Christian sectarianism is an issue in Scotland but that other faiths also experience sectarianism which should be covered by the legislation

Primary Source - Equality Evidence Finder[96]

Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2017[97]

Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2017‑18[98]

Scottish Household

Survey 2018[99]

Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland[100]

Hate Crime Statistics Scotland 2018-19[101]

Criminal Proceedings in Scotland, 2017-18[102]

Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland 2017-18[103]

Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland[104]

Final Report of the Working Group on Defining Sectarianism in Scots Law[105]

One Scotland: consultation on current hate crime legislation[106]

Consultation on Scottish Hate

Crime Legislation[107]

Consultation on amending Scottish hate crime legislation: analysis of responses[108]

Programme of multi stakeholder engagement events

YouthLink Scotland Events[109]

Information is available on demographics surrounding religion and belief.

Information on the religion or beliefs of victims and perpetrators is not available from police recorded crime, however survey results provide related data on discrimination and harassment.

The Scottish Government are engaging with Police Scotland as they develop the information they hold on hate crime, including reviewing a large sample of police recorded hate crimes to investigate further the characteristics and circumstances of these cases (including analysis of religion related hate crimes). It is anticipated that a report on the findings of this exercise will be published in 2020.

Qualitative data availability around religion or belief is primarily based on Lord Bracadale’s Review, the One Scotland: Hate Has no Home Here consultation and further engagement sessions with stakeholders.


Contact

Email: Connected.Communities@gov.scot