Publication - Statistics

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

Published: 24 Nov 2015
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781785448584

This bulletin presents statistics on racist incidents recorded by Police Scotland in 2013-14.

Racist incidents reported to the police may involve one or more victims/ complainers, one or more perpetrators, and may result in one or more crimes or offences being recorded.

46 page PDF

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46 page PDF

876.8 kB

Supporting files

Contents
Racist Incidents Recorded by the Police in Scotland, 2013-14
Annex 1: Data Sources and Definitions

46 page PDF

876.8 kB

Supporting files

Annex 1: Data Sources and Definitions

Background

6.1. In response to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry in 1999, the then Scottish Executive produced an action plan to progress the recommendations set out in the MacPherson report, which included the setting up of a statistical collection covering racist incidents.

6.2. The definition of a racist incident used by Police Scotland is as given by Sir William MacPherson in his report on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry:

'A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.'

Data Collection:

6.3. The racist incident data collection is four separate datasets, linked by a unique incident reference number. In any one racist incident:

  • One or more victims/complainers may be involved
  • There may be one or more perpetrators
  • There may be no criminal element, or one or more crimes may be recorded by the police.

For example, one incident may have two perpetrators committing racially aggravated harassment against one victim/complainer.

6.4. Table 16 shows the total number of incidents, crimes, victims/complainers and perpetrators recorded by the police and supplied as part of the data collection.

Table 16: Total incidents, crimes, victims/complainers and perpetrators, by financial year, 2004-05 to 2013-14

Number

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Incidents

4,519

5,112

5,322

5,247

5,145

4,960

4,911

5,389

4,628

4,807

Crimes

5,734

6,444

6,654

6,673

6,617

6,470

6,173

6,472

5,228

5,520

Victims/Complainers

5,059

5,820

5,963

5,790

5,995

5,783

5,906

6,311

5,312

5,626

Perpetrators

3,321

4,100

5,082

5,013

5,447

5,504

5,562

5,281

4,541

4,609

6.5. More information on the method and timing of the collection is included in Section 2 of this publication.

6.6. The main Scottish Government Statement of Administrative Sources covers all sources of administrative data used by Scottish Government statisticians. This statement can be found on the Scottish Government website at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About/StatementAdminSources.

6.7. A separate statement of administrative sources is available for police statistics via the following link:
http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/AdminSourcesPolice

Police Scotland Quarterly Management Information Reports:

6.8. Police Scotland publishes management information on the number of 'Racially aggravated harassment/conduct' offences. This is presented within their Quarterly Management Information Reports, which are available from the 'Our Performance' section of Police Scotland's website:
http://www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/our-performance/.

6.9. These reports are produced to demonstrate Police Scotland's commitment to transparency (alongside other regular reporting activity to the Scottish Police Authority). The information within these reports is presented on a cumulative quarterly basis, with the first quarter of a reporting year containing 3 months of data (from April to June), the second containing 6 months of data (from April to September) etc. The reports are typically published within 2 months of the period to which they refer.

6.10. The Quarterly Management Information Reports make clear to users that the data they contain is Management Information that is available to Police Scotland at that time and not the Official Statistics. The annual Official Statistics published by the Scottish Government on racist incidents are based on data taken from different police systems and have undergone further quality assurance work, including additional dialogue with Police Scotland, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Data Definitions:

6.11. Incident - an incident is any communication by whatever means about a matter which comes to the attention of the police and which they may be required to act upon.

6.12. Crime - an act committed in violation of the law (common law or statute). Any single incident may include a number of crimes, or there might be no criminal element.

6.13. Victim/complainer - the individual who perceived the incident to be racist. In any incident, there could be one or more victims/complainers, and in some cases, no victim/complainer.

Note that the victim/complainer may not necessarily be the person at whom the racially aggravated behaviour was targeted. For clarity, 'victim/complainer' has been referred to throughout the bulletin to reflect the fact that a victim or any other person can perceive an incident to be racist

6.14. Perpetrator - the person who was deemed responsible for the incident. In any incident, there could be one or more perpetrators

6.15. Assault - In Scotland, assault is a common law offence. In order to distinguish between serious and common assaults, Police Scotland use a common definition for serious assault as outlined in the Scottish Crime Recording Standard:

"An assault or attack in which the victim sustains injury resulting in detention in hospital as an inpatient, for the treatment of that injury, or any of the following injuries whether or not detained in hospital:

  • Fractures (the breaking or cracking of a bone. Note - nose is cartilage not bone, so a 'broken nose' should not be classified unless it meets one of the other criteria)
  • Internal injuries
  • Severe concussion
  • Lacerations requiring sutures which may lead to impairment or disfigurement
  • Any other injury which may lead to impairment or disfigurement."

6.16. Racially-aggravated - the offender asserts towards the person affected, malice and ill-will based on that person's membership (or presumed membership) of a racial group; or the course of conduct or action is motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards members of a racial group based on their membership of that group

Racially-aggravated harassment - a racially-aggravated course of conduct, amounting to harassment

Racially-aggravated conduct - to act in a manner, including speech, which is racially aggravated and which causes, or is intended to cause, a person alarm or distress.

Recording Crimes & Offences:

6.17. These statistics do not reveal all racist incidents in Scotland. Not all incidents are reported to the police. The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) 2012-13 estimated that 39% of all crimes, as defined by the SCJS, were reported to the police. The reasons most commonly given by victims for not reporting to the police were that the police would not have been able to do anything (37%), that the incident was considered by them to be too trivial (36%) or that the police would not have been interested (15%).

6.18. Contraventions of Scottish criminal law are divided for statistical purposes into crimes and offences. "Crime" is generally used for the more serious criminal acts; the less serious termed "offences", although the term "offence" may also be used in relation to serious breaches of criminal law. The distinction is made only for working purposes and the "seriousness" of the offence is generally related to the maximum sentence that can be imposed.

6.19. The detailed classification of crimes and offences used by The Scottish Government to collect criminal statistics contains approximately 475 crime codes. These are grouped in the bulletin as shown in Annex 9.

Crimes and Offences Cleared Up:

6.20. The definition of "cleared up" is noted below. This definition came into force with effect from 1 April 1996 and is detailed in the Scottish Crime Recording Standard:

A crime or offence is regarded as cleared up where there exists a sufficiency of evidence under Scots law, to justify consideration of criminal proceedings notwithstanding that a report is not submitted to the procurator fiscal because either:

(i) by standing agreement with the procurator fiscal, the police warn the accused due to the minor nature of the offence, or

(ii) reporting is inappropriate due to the non-age of the accused, death of the accused or other similar circumstances.

6.21. In Scots law, the confession of an accused person to a crime would not in general be sufficient to allow a prosecution to be taken, as corroborative evidence is required. Thus, a case cannot be regarded as "cleared up" on the basis of a confession alone. In some cases there is sufficient evidence but a prosecution cannot be brought, for example, because the accused has left the country. In such cases, the offender is said to have been traced and the crime is regarded as cleared up. The other terms in the definition describe the various actions that must be taken by the police against offenders.

6.22. As highlighted in Section 2.6, the delay in collection of the 2013-14 data, may have an effect on the clear-up rates highlighted in this bulletin.

6.23. Percentages of crimes cleared up in this publication are, in general, not comparable to clear-up rates published in the Recorded Crime in Scotland statistical bulletin. This is because, in the Recorded Crime in Scotland bulletin, the clear-up rate is based on the total number of crimes cleared up in 2013-14 and hence includes crimes cleared-up that were recorded in previous years.

Ethnic Classifications

6.24. It is important when considering ethnicity to remember that ethnic minorities are not evenly spread throughout the country. Table 17, taken from the 2011 Scottish Census, shows that the city authorities have a more diverse population.

Table 17: Scottish Population by Ethnic Group, Scotland, 2011 1,2

Percentage

Local Authority

White British

White Irish, Gypsy/Traveller, Polish White and Other White

Pakistani

Indian

Bangladeshi, Chinese & Other Asian

African, Caribbean & Other Black

Mixed & Other

Scotland

Aberdeen City

82.9%

9.0%

0.5%

1.5%

2.3%

2.5%

1.3%

100%

Aberdeenshire

94.5%

4.0%

0.1%

0.2%

0.5%

0.3%

0.4%

100%

Angus

95.9%

2.8%

0.2%

0.1%

0.4%

0.2%

0.3%

100%

Argyll & Bute

95.5%

3.3%

0.1%

0.1%

0.4%

0.2%

0.4%

100%

Clackmannanshire

95.7%

2.8%

0.6%

0.2%

0.3%

0.2%

0.3%

100%

Dumfries & Galloway

96.5%

2.3%

0.1%

0.2%

0.4%

0.1%

0.4%

100%

Dundee City

89.4%

4.7%

1.4%

1.0%

1.6%

1.0%

1.0%

100%

East Ayrshire

97.5%

1.3%

0.2%

0.2%

0.4%

0.1%

0.3%

100%

East Dunbartonshire

93.4%

2.4%

0.7%

1.5%

1.1%

0.2%

0.7%

100%

East Lothian

94.9%

3.4%

0.3%

0.3%

0.4%

0.3%

0.5%

100%

East Renfrewshire

91.1%

3.0%

3.1%

1.2%

0.8%

0.2%

0.7%

100%

Edinburgh, City of

82.1%

9.7%

1.2%

1.4%

2.9%

1.2%

1.6%

100%

Eilean Siar

97.4%

1.7%

0.1%

0.1%

0.3%

0.1%

0.3%

100%

Falkirk

95.8%

2.3%

0.7%

0.3%

0.3%

0.2%

0.4%

100%

Fife

94.3%

3.3%

0.5%

0.3%

0.8%

0.3%

0.5%

100%

Glasgow City

82.7%

5.8%

3.8%

1.5%

2.8%

2.4%

1.1%

100%

Highland

94.6%

4.1%

0.1%

0.2%

0.5%

0.2%

0.4%

100%

Inverclyde

96.8%

1.8%

0.2%

0.3%

0.4%

0.2%

0.3%

100%

Midlothian

95.8%

2.5%

0.4%

0.2%

0.4%

0.3%

0.4%

100%

Moray

95.7%

3.2%

0.2%

0.1%

0.4%

0.2%

0.3%

100%

North Ayrshire

97.2%

1.7%

0.1%

0.2%

0.4%

0.1%

0.3%

100%

North Lanarkshire

95.1%

2.8%

0.9%

0.3%

0.4%

0.2%

0.3%

100%

Orkney Islands

97.1%

2.1%

0.1%

0.1%

0.3%

0.1%

0.2%

100%

Perth & Kinross

93.1%

4.9%

0.2%

0.4%

0.6%

0.3%

0.5%

100%

Renfrewshire

94.6%

2.6%

0.6%

0.6%

0.6%

0.5%

0.4%

100%

Scottish Borders

95.2%

3.5%

0.1%

0.2%

0.4%

0.3%

0.4%

100%

Shetland Islands

94.9%

3.6%

0.2%

0.1%

0.7%

0.1%

0.4%

100%

South Ayrshire

96.5%

2.2%

0.1%

0.2%

0.4%

0.1%

0.3%

100%

South Lanarkshire

95.5%

2.3%

0.7%

0.4%

0.5%

0.3%

0.4%

100%

Stirling

92.8%

4.1%

0.3%

0.4%

1.6%

0.3%

0.6%

100%

West Dunbartonshire

96.1%

2.4%

0.3%

0.3%

0.3%

0.3%

0.3%

100%

West Lothian

93.7%

3.9%

0.8%

0.4%

0.5%

0.3%

0.4%

100%

Scotland

91.8%

4.2%

0.9%

0.6%

1.1%

0.7%

0.6%

100%

1. Population taken from the 2011 Scottish Census published by NRS, www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk

2 Table with counts available on website - http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/PubRacistIncidents


Contact

Email: Alan Sloan