Race equality action plan: final report

Progress made on the actions in the Race Equality Action Plan 2017 to 2021 and action taken to tackle race inequality in response to the 2020 to 2021 COVID-19 pandemic as well as action from 2021 onwards to implement the aims of the Race Equality Framework 2016-2030.

Annex F – Community Cohesion and Safety

These annexes provide updates on all original actions from the Race Equality Action Plan followed by updates on the reprioritised and refocused actions from the end of Year 2. Additional activity in Year 3 that has taken place in response to either COVID-19 or Black Lives Matter is then captured.

Action status categorisation is as follows

  • Complete*
  • Ongoing**
  • Paused
  • Reprioritised

*We cannot see this work as being done just because an action has been completed within a timeframe. For some actions, the marking of a status as complete may mean that the specific one-off action as originally proposed has been undertaken however work continues in this area and this is reflected in the update.

** Actions may be marked as 'ongoing' for the same reason. Much of the work reflected in these annexes is long-term in nature and continues beyond the end of the REAP.

Year 1 only
Action Action Status Update
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. Complete The Scottish Government launched a further hate crime campaign on 26 September 2018 in partnership with Police Scotland. The campaign aimed to encourage witnesses to report. We worked closely with Police Scotland and equalities organisations as we developed this campaign. Evaluation showed that those who engaged with the campaign are now more likely to report a hate crime and that it was particularly successful with those who have been exposed to hate crime. The campaign evaluation has been published on the Scottish Government website and we will use that evaluation to consider future campaigns. The evaluation can be found here: Hate Crime Campaign Evaluation We relaunched this campaign in October 2020 following concerns raised by stakeholders that there had been an increase in hate crime, including racial hate crime, both online and face-to-face. The campaign aimed to encourage victims and witnesses to report and raised awareness of how to do so during the pandemic.
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. Complete We published our national strategy for tackling social isolation and loneliness on 18 December 2018. This final strategy was informed by our consultation period. Separate analysis of the consultation responses was published in October 2018 and can be found here Social Isolation Consultation Analysis The national strategy for tackling social isolation and loneliness is available online at Social Isolation Strategy As a result of the pandemic the Scottish Government has had to pivot activities in order to be able to proactively respond to the impacts of the virus. We know that social isolation and loneliness can cause negative health impacts. Part of our recent activity to support older minority ethnic communities and mitigate this has been delivered through the Supporting Communities Fund and the Winter Support Package. This funding has supported a variety of projects, including befriending support and culturally appropriate meal delivery services for isolated older people.
Multi-year actions
Action Action Status Update
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. Ongoing In June 2017, we published our Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Plan, which can be found here: Tackling prejudice and building connected communities: Scottish Government response. We have established an Action Group chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government which includes representation from BEMIS and CEMVO to take this work forward. An update on progress was anticipated to be published in 2020. As a result of the pandemic and the Scottish Government responding to the impacts of the virus, the report will now be published in 2021.
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. Complete There are a wide range of mechanisms in place in key areas of the Scottish Government to engage directly with minority ethnic communities and the organisations who work with them. This includes working groups addressing race equality in education, in justice, and in relation to a wide range of aspects of our response to COVID-19. We also work closely with race equality stakeholder organisations who enable us to understand issues being raised by specific communities, for example the Ethnic Minority Resilience Network co-ordinated by BEMIS, and the Regional Equality Councils. Other specific examples where we engage effectively with minority ethnic communities includes our work to tackle hate crime and prejudice. During the development of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, we engaged closely with race equality stakeholders and representatives from Scotland's minority ethnic communities including through public consultation. We have also engaged with race equality organisations on the development of our campaigns, work to improve data and evidence and on third party reporting. We will continue to engage with communities, including minority ethnic communities, as we refresh our hate crime strategy later this year.
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. Ongoing Following Lord Bracadale's Independent Review and our subsequent public consultation on its recommendations, the Scottish Government introduced the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill on 23 April 2020. MSPs voted to pass the Bill on 11 March 2021. The Bill provides for the modernising, consolidating and extending of hate crime legislation in Scotland. Legislation in this area has evolved over time in a fragmented manner with the result that different elements of hate crime law are located in different statutes, there is a lack of consistency, and the relevant legislation is not as user-friendly as it could be. The new hate crime legislation will provide greater clarity, transparency and consistency. Throughout Parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill, the Scottish Government and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice met with a range of race equality stakeholders and minority ethnic communities to discuss the impact the Bill's provisions will have. With regards to race and race-related hate crime in the Bill, the Scottish Government has pursued a distinct approach from the Bill's other characteristics. The Scottish Government is of the view that, due to the historical and structural nature of racism, the prevalence and seriousness of race hate crime and the impact that this has on community cohesion, a separate approach is justified. Further information on the Bill, including the Scottish Government's policy rationale, can be found here https://beta.parliament.scot/bills/hate-crime-and-public-order-scotland-bill. We will continue to engage with race equality stakeholders and minority ethnic communities as we develop guidance and raise awareness of the new legislation.
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). Ongoing On 13 June 2019, the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) on Stop and Search published a full report reviewing the first 12 months of the operation of the Code of Practice on Stop and Search. https://www.gov.scot/publications/twelve-month-review-code-practice-stop-search-scotland-independent-advisory-group-stop-search/ The report made two recommendations which the Scottish Government has accepted, including a new specific power for situations involving the protection or preservation of life and for a power of search for alcohol relating to large, spontaneous gatherings, such as Troon Beach. The Scottish Government has identified that there are currently no legislative vehicles suitable within this Parliamentary session to make the necessary legislative amendments. However, we are looking for a potential Bill slot in the next parliamentary session to implement the Group's recommendations.
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. Ongoing The Scottish Government has worked with the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland to promote positive action to increase the number of minority ethnic entrants to the police workforce. Police Scotland's Positive Action Team provides support to people across Scotland from under-represented groups who are considering a career in policing. The Positive Action Team has introduced a number of initiatives to encourage those from a minority ethnic background to apply to be police officers, this includes the "Introduction to Police Programme (ITPP)", where potential minority ethnic candidates are provided with advice and training on the recruitment process and then peer support as they go through the full recruitment process. During COVID-19 the Positive Action team initially cancelled their in-person events but has now undertaken a range of virtual sessions for underrepresented groups. The Positive Action Team has also been instrumental in making changes to the recruitment process to break down perceived barriers to joining the police. This includes the introduction of the standard Hijab for officers; the removal of the requirement that candidates hold a full driving licence; and changes to the police fitness test. Police Scotland will co-Chair a Cross Justice Working Group on Race and Workforce. The group aims to provide a strategic and cohesive approach to tackling barriers to employment across the justice system and to support cross system learning. Following recommendations in the independent review of police complaints, investigations and misconduct, Police Scotland intends to commission independent and expert support, to work with policing in Scotland to better understand the experiences of minority groups in the service and to ensure appropriate support is available where it is required.
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. Ongoing Currently, Diversity Training is undertaken as part of the Probationer Training Programme when officers first start with Police Scotland (2 days). This promotes inclusivity and awareness. Following a review of Equality and Diversity Training, the Service identified a need to; upskill E&D instructors; increase the cadre of instructors; update/refresh training materials and content; and to benchmark and evaluate best practice across partner organisations. Work was ongoing to achieve this with twelve workshops delivered in 2019, and more planned for 2020 (currently postponed due to COVID-19). The current Equality and Diversity training package was reviewed, and updated content will be incorporated into the new probationer training programme that began in December 2020. Police Scotland's 'Critical Incident Management Exercise' training programme (known as CIMplexity) is provided for Inspectors and above, and is designed as an immersive training exercise. The scenarios specifically looks at how diversity can be linked to critically, with plenary discussions centred around the language used, communication, the behaviour officers display and how these are perceived outside the organisation. Following a HMICS report, Police Scotland are considering how diversity training is provided and mainstreamed into leadership courses at all levels.
Year 2 reprioritisation actions
We are committed to developing our approach to gathering evidence around hate crime. We want to see the provision of more detailed information on hate crime in Scotland and our analysts are continuing to work with Police Scotland to review data and carry out an in-depth analysis of Police Scotland's systems. A final report is expected to be published later this year. Ongoing In February 2019 we published the report 'Developing Information on Hate Crime Recorded by the Police in Scotland'. The report can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/developing-information-hate-crime-recorded-police-scotland/ Whilstthis included new data on the volume and type of hate crime recorded over 2014-15 to 2017-18, stakeholders on the Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Groupmade clear their strong desire to see more detailed analysis on the nature of these offences. On 23 February 2021, the Scottish Government published its research report, 'A Study into the Characteristics of Police Recorded Hate Crime in Scotland'. The report can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/study-characteristics-police-recorded-hate-crime-scotland/. This is the first time such a high-quality measure of police recorded data on hate crime has been publicised. The report presents updated statistics on the number of hate crimes recorded by the police in Scotland over 2014-15 to 2019-20. The study also includes the nature of hate crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19, including characteristics of both victims and perpetrators. We recognise that the value of data and evidence on hate crime in Scotland needs to be improved. It needs to show a greater level of disaggregation, and it needs to tell us more about victims and perpetrators. Such data is essential in our work to more effectively tackle hate crime in Scotland. Like our stakeholders, we want to see this level of data published on a regular and sustainable basis and the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill makes provision that information on police recorded hate crime and convictions data be published annually, and with greater detail where known. Until Police Scotland's systems are in place, we have committed to produce a further study into the characteristics of police recorded hate crime for 2020/21, which will cover the exceptional circumstances of the COVID pandemic.


Email: charlie.goodwin@gov.scot

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