Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland 2013-14

Analysis of charges reported under the act to provide information about the nature of the religiously aggravated offending charges, the accused and the victims of incidents.


1.1 This report presents information about religiously-aggravated offending in Scotland in 2013-14 based on a review of police charges issued under section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003. The Act[6] states that an offence is aggravated by religious prejudice if:

'(a) at the time of committing the offence or immediately before or after doing so, the offender evinces towards the victim (if any) of the offence malice and ill-will based on the victim's membership (or presumed membership) of a religious group, or of a social or cultural group with a perceived religious affiliation; or

(b) the offence is motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards members of a religious group, or of a social or cultural group with a perceived religious affiliation, based on their membership of that group'.

Research Aims

1.2 This report presents a further breakdown of the charges reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Services (COPFS) in 2013-14 to provide a greater insight into the nature of religious offending in Scotland.

1.3 The research sought to find out the age and sex of the accused; who the offensive conduct was directed towards; where the incidents took place; if they were related to alcohol, drugs, football, marches or parades, which religions were targeted, and the final court outcomes for the charges.


Email: Ben Cavanagh

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