Information

Characteristics of police recorded hate crime in Scotland: study

This report presents the findings of a study into the nature of police recorded hate aggravated crimes in Scotland. This includes new details on the characteristics of these cases, based on a random sample of police recorded crimes.

This document is part of a collection


Characteristics of hate crimes recorded in 2018-19

Methods

Two systems were used to review the characteristics of hate crimes recorded by the police in Scotland – the Interim Vulnerable Persons Database (IVPD) and the Crime Management Systems (CMSs).

The IVPD is an incident based database which was introduced in 2013, and became a national system in 2014. Police Scotland use the IVPD to record information about individuals who are, or are perceived to be, experiencing some form of adversity and/or situational vulnerability which may impact on their current or future wellbeing. This is the only national system that can currently identify the totality of hate crime recorded by the police in Scotland.

In addition to the IVPD, hate crimes will also be recorded on a local CMS. The CMS is used to actively manage the investigation of recorded crime, and like the IVPD, it also holds details of the people involved. As highlighted in this section, the process of recording crimes through a CMS is governed by the Scottish Crime Recording Standard (SCRS)[7].

Given the established governance arrangements for the recording of crime through the CMSs, these were chosen as the basis for this research, rather than a review of records held within the IVPD. However, at present, Police Scotland use a number of local CMSs, which were inherited from the previous legacy police forces. As such the research methodology was designed to use the national coverage of the IVPD to identify all hate crimes recorded in Scotland. From this, a sample of crime records was randomly drawn, with Scottish Government statisticians then using the associated reference numbers to locate each hate crime within a local CMS. These cases were then reviewed, with information recorded about their characteristics.

Using the methodology outlined above, a total of 2,114 hate aggravated crime records were sampled from 2018-19, representing just over one-third (34%) of all cases recorded by the police during this year. The proportion sampled varied across the five hate aggravators, ranging from 24% for Race to 100% (or all records identified within the IVPD) for both Disability and Transgender identity (Table 1). This variation ensured a sufficiently large number of records were reviewed for those aggravations with relatively fewer cases, so as to allow a robust measure of their characteristics to be produced. The sample was also stratified by Police Scotland division, ensuring the prevalence of hate crime across the 13 geographic areas covered by those divisions was reflected within the research.

Information was recorded about the circumstances of each crime and the characteristics of the people involved. No personal information relating to those involved (such as names, dates of birth and addresses) was collected.

With the exception of the Disability and Transgender Identity strands, this research is based on a sample of police records (rather than all records), therefore the percentages (proportions) presented in this report are estimates. The true value may differ slightly from the findings presented below due to sampling error. As such, users should treat the following analysis as a broad indication of the characteristics of hate crime, rather than as an exact measure. Figures are presented at the national level, as sample sizes are insufficient to provide robust estimates at local authority and individual police division level.

There are several methods of calculating an average, in this report the median is used to present the average age of victims and perpetrators (i.e. the age at which half the individuals are older and half are younger). The mean measure of average age can be more influenced by values at the upper end of the distribution (i.e. the older ages) and may not be truly representative of the average age. By taking the middle value of the data, after sorting in ascending order, the median avoids this issue and is consequently considered a better indication of a typical 'average' age.

Table 1. Proportion of crimes sampled by hate aggravation.
Aggravation Sample Population[8],[9] % of population sampled
All hate crimes 2,114 6,303 34%
Disability 312 312 100%
Race 1,000 4,251 24%
Religion 300 566 53%
Sexual orientation 400 1,331 30%
Transgender identity 102 102 100%

Discussion of relative sample weights for summary analysis

As shown in Table 1, there is some variation in the proportion of records sampled across the five aggravators. As such some aggravators made up a greater proportion of the sample than they do the overall population (for example disability aggravated crimes - which are 15% of the sample and 5% of all hate crimes). Others make up a smaller proportion of the sample than they do the population (with racially aggravated crimes making up 48% of the sample and 67% of all hate crimes).

The majority of the findings presented in this report focus on discussing each of the five hate aggravators in isolation, rather than making any direct comparisons between them. For these findings the variation in the proportion of records sampled by aggravation has no effect on the results. However some sections look at hate crime as a whole (i.e. across all aggravators). This includes the Summary of recorded hate crimes, Summary of hate crimes with a non-police officer victim and Police officer victims of hate crime sections.

Due to the difference between the proportions of each aggravator within the sample and their proportions within the overall population of hate crime, it was necessary to apply a weighted adjustment to the findings in these sections. This was carried out according to the proportion of each respective aggravator within the overall population of hate crime. Continuing with the illustration above, it means that each sampled race aggravated crime was given a greater weight in the analysis looking at hate crime as a whole, and each sampled disability aggravated crime was given a lower weight. This means that when presenting findings on hate crime as a whole it is reflective of the distribution of aggravators within it.

Categorisation of the ethnicity of victims and perpetrators

When reviewing each crime record, the available information on the ethnicity of victims and perpetrators was collected and, where possible, assigned to one of the 20 census codes as defined in Scotland's Census[10].

Records excluded from the analysis

One in ten crimes (10%) in the original sample of 2,114 hate crimes has been excluded from the analysis presented below. This includes cases where (i) analysts were unable to locate a hate crime in the CMS due to issues with the crime reference recorded within the IVPD, (ii) a crime did not appear to include a hate element (in some cases this may also have been an issue with the crime reference), and (iii) on further investigation by the police, the hate crime had been re-designated to not constitute a crime or offence (a process known as 'no-criming').

Further analysis

This report focuses on providing a high level summary of the characteristics of hate crime in Scotland. Further analysis and breakdowns are available at request from: justice_analysts@gov.scot.

Summary of recorded hate crimes

While there are important distinctions across the five hate aggravators in terms of their characteristics, including who was involved, where they happened, and how they were reported to the police, there are some general statements that can be made about hate crime as a whole.

In a majority of hate crimes, the victim was a male or all male group. This is the case across all aggravators with the exception of transgender identity aggravated crimes. The perpetrators in a majority of hate crimes were also male or an all male group.

We estimate from the research that there were 5,570 hate crimes in 2018-19 that had a person-based victim, whilst a relatively smaller number (130) either had no victim or the victim was a business or organisation.

For those 5,570 hate crimes that were estimated to have a person-based victim, one in five (or 1,080) had a victim who was a police officer in the line of duty. The remaining 4,490 hate crimes had a victim who was not a police officer.

Given the relatively high proportion of hate crimes with a police officer victim, the characteristics of these cases have been detailed separately in the second section below, with the first section focusing on the characteristics of those crimes where the victim was not a police officer.

As noted in this section, police recorded hate crime only covers those cases that come to the attention of the police. Given it is likely that all (or almost all) hate crime targeted against the police will be included within the measure of recorded hate crime, the estimated one in five cases with a police officer victim will likely be higher than the equivalent measure for all hate crime committed in Scotland (i.e. including those cases that don't get reported).

All hate crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19

  • Non-police officer victims of hate crime 4,620 crimes with a person-based victim (4,490) or non-person based victim (130).
  • Police officer victims of hate crime 1,080 crimes with a police officer victim.

In over half of crimes (58%), the victim did not know the perpetrator, whilst in a further 30% of cases, the perpetrator was an acquaintance[11] of the victim.

Where the victim was not a police officer, the vast majority of crimes were reported to the police by the victim, equating to around 3,860 crimes. This includes around one in ten cases which were reported by someone on behalf of the victim - including parents, teachers, carers and employers.

Non-police officer victims of hate crime

The information presented in this section includes only those cases where the victim was not a police officer. Information on the characteristics of cases where the victim was a police officer is provided in the Police officer victims of hate crimes section.

Where information is presented on the characteristics of victims, including their age, gender and ethnicity, relationship with perpetrator and whether they were working, this only includes those cases that had a person-based victim, and excludes those which either had no victim or the victim was a business or organisation. Those such cases are however included in the discussion of all other factors, such as the age and gender of the perpetrator, location of the crime and how it was reported to the police.

Summary of hate crimes with a non-police officer victim

What proportion of victims were working at the time of the crime?

Across the five hate aggravators, around a third (34%) of these crimes involved a victim who experienced the incident at their place of work or whilst undertaking duties as part of their occupation (Table 8). This figure is relatively higher than for all crime committed in Scotland, albeit it only covers hate crimes reported to the police. The Scottish Crime & Justice Survey suggested that 12% of crimes (including both those reported to the police and not reported) happened to people at their place of work in 2018-19[12]. Of this, over two thirds (71%) were working in Retail or other service industries, which equates to around a quarter (24%) of hate crimes with a person-based victim.

What was the gender of victims, and how did they know the perpetrator?

The majority of hate crime involved a male or all male group of victims (63%), with a third involving a female or all female group (32%) (Table 9). Four percent of crimes involved a mixed group.

In around half of crimes (48%), the victim did not know the perpetrator, whilst in a further 37% of cases, the perpetrator was an acquaintance of the victim (Table 10).

Where did the crimes happen and how were they reported to the police?

Around a third of crimes (34%) occurred in an Open space, with a further fifth occurring in both a Retail or service industry setting or in or around a Dwelling (22% and 20% respectively) (Table 11).

In one in ten crimes (11%) the victim and perpetrator were not in the same location (including the use of phone calls and cyber-enabled technologies). Less than one-in-ten hate crimes (7%) specifically involved the use of cyber-enabled technologies (Table 12).

The vast majority of hate crimes were reported to the police by the victim (84%) (Table 13). This splits into 74% which were reported by the victim directly and 10% which were reported by someone on behalf of the victim (including parents, teachers, carers and employers). In 12% of cases, the crime was reported by a witness.

What was the gender of the perpetrators?

The majority of hate crimes, where an individual was identified, had a male or all male group of offenders, representing 73% of crimes. Around a quarter of these crimes (25%) had a female or all female group of perpetrators with a further 2% involving a mixed group of perpetrators (Table 14).

Disability aggravated crime

What proportion of victims were working at the time of the crime?

The vast majority of disability aggravated hate crime victims (93%) did not experience the incident whilst at a place of work, or whilst undertaking duties as part of an occupation (Table 8).

What was the age and gender of victims, and how did they know the perpetrator?

Victims of disability aggravated hate crimes were evenly split between male or all male groups (50%) and female or all female groups (49%). The average age of a victim was 35 years old (Table 9).

In over half of these crimes (59%), the victim and perpetrator were acquaintances, with a further 21% involving a perpetrator not known to the victim (Table 10).

What was the ethnicity of victims?

Where information was available on the ethnicity of victims, four in five (or 80%) of disability aggravated hate crimes had a victim of White Scottish ethnicity (Table 15). The second largest ethnic group was Other White British (14% of victims). All other ethnic groups accounted for the remaining 5% of victims.

Where did the crimes happen and how were they reported to the police?

The most common locations for disability aggravated hate crimes were in and around a Dwelling, and an Open space (28% each) (Table 11). In 17% of crimes, the victim and the perpetrator were not in the same location. Just over one-in-ten disability aggravated hate crimes (12%) specifically involved the use of cyber-enabled technologies (Table 12).

The majority of disability aggravated hate crimes were reported to the police by the victim (79%) (Table 13). This breaks down into 64% reported by the victim directly and 15% which were reported by someone on behalf of the victim (including parents, teachers, carers or employers). In 16% of cases, the crime was reported by a witness.

What was the age, gender and ethnicity of perpetrators?

The majority of disability aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of perpetrators, representing over two-thirds (67%) of crimes (Table 14). The average age of a perpetrator was 20 years old.

Where information was available on the ethnicity of perpetrators, around four in five (or 79%) of disability aggravated hate crimes had a perpetrator of White Scottish ethnicity (Table 16). The second largest ethnic group was Other White British (14% of perpetrators). All other ethnic groups accounted for the remaining 7% of perpetrators.

When committing disability aggravated hate crimes, what prejudices were shown by perpetrators?

The information provided below on the prejudice shown by the perpetrator is most often based on the words used or actions taken during the crime. A person does not need to be a member of the social group being targeted by the perpetrator to be the victim of a hate crime and their identity or other characteristics do not need to align with the perpetrator's perceptions. A perpetrator can also show prejudice against multiple social groups as part of the same crime.

Over half (57%) of disability aggravated hate crimes involved the perpetrator showing prejudice towards those with a Learning disability, which equates to an estimated 130 crimes (Table 17). Around a fifth of crimes (21%) involved the perpetrator showing prejudice towards those with a Physical disability (around 50 crimes). In around one in six crimes (17%), the perpetrator's actions didn't include remarks directed at any specific disability, equating to around 40 crimes.

More detailed analysis of the prejudices shown by perpetrators for disability aggravated hate crime

Where prejudice was shown towards those with a learning disability

In over half of disability aggravated hate crimes, the perpetrator showed a prejudice towards those with a Learning disability (59%). This equates to around 130 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In the majority of crimes, the victim and the perpetrator were acquaintances (57%) and these crimes were equally split between those with male or all male groups and female or all female groups of victims.

Where prejudice was shown towards those with a physical disability

In around a fifth of disability aggravated hate crimes the perpetrator showed a prejudice towards those with a Physical disability (21%). This equates to around 50 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In the majority of crimes, the victim and the perpetrator were acquaintances (65%).

Where prejudice was shown towards those with a learning disability

Representing 59% of disability aggravated hate crimes, equating to 130 crimes in 2018-19.

Victims

  • Were evenly split between male or female groups.
  • Average age: 28

Relationship

  • Acquaintance: 57%
  • Stranger: 19%
  • Other: 24%

Perpetrators

  • 65% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 22

Where

  • 31% of crimes occurred in or around a Dwelling
  • 28% of crimes occurred in an Open space

Working

  • 9% of victims were working at the time of the crime

Where prejudice was shown towards those with a physical disability

Representing 21% of disability aggravated hate crimes, equating to 50 crimes in 2018-19.

Victims

  • 54% of victims were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 45

Relationship

  • Acquaintance: 65%
  • Stranger: 21%
  • Other: 14%

Perpetrators

  • 64% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 17

Where

  • 33% occurred in a public space
  • 25% crimes involved the victim and perpetrator in different locations

Working

  • 4% of victims were working at the time of the crime

Race aggravated crime

What proportion of victims were working at the time of the crime?

Just over two-fifths of racially aggravated hate crime victims (41% of cases) experienced the incident at their place of work or whilst undertaking duties as part of their occupation (Table 8). The other 59% were not at their place of work or undertaking work-related duties. Where victims were working, most were in Retail and service related industries, representing 76% of victims in work and 31% of all victims.

What was the age and gender of victims, and how did they know the perpetrator?

The majority of racially aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of victims, representing almost two-thirds (64%) of crimes. The average age of a victim was 36 years old (Table 9).

In around half of these crimes (52%), the victim did not know the perpetrator, with a further third (34%) involving a perpetrator who was an acquaintance (Table 10).

What was the ethnicity of victims?

Where information was available on the ethnicity of victims, almost two-thirds (or 64%) of race aggravated hate crimes had a victim from a non-white ethnic group (Table 18). This compares to 4% of Scotland's population at the time of the last census in 2011.

Table 18 provides a more detailed breakdown of victims by ethnic group. Further analysis on those ethnic groups that feature most frequently within the research is also provided below.

Where did the crimes happen and how were they reported to the police?

Just over a third of racially aggravated hate crimes (35%) occurred in an Open space, followed by a Retail or hospitality setting (26%) and in or around a Dwelling (19%) (Table 11). In around one in ten crimes (9%) the victim and perpetrator were not in the same location. This category includes cases that involved the use of cyber-enabled technologies, accounting for around one in twenty (or 6%) of racially aggravated hate crimes (Table 12).

The vast majority of racially aggravated hate crimes were reported to the police by the victim (85%) (Table 13). This breaks down into 76% reported by the victim directly and 9% which were reported by someone on behalf of the victim (including parents, teachers, carers or employers). In 11% of cases, the crime was reported by a witness.

What was the age, gender and ethnicity of perpetrators?

The majority of racially aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of perpetrators, representing almost three-quarters (71%) of crimes (Table 14). The average age of a perpetrator was 30 years old.

Where information was available on the ethnicity of perpetrators, around four in five (or 78%) of racially aggravated hate crimes had a perpetrator of White Scottish ethnicity (Table 18). The second largest ethnic group was Other White British (11% of perpetrators). All other ethnic groups accounted for the remaining 10% of perpetrators.

When committing racially aggravated hate crimes, what prejudices were shown by perpetrators?

The information provided below on the prejudice shown by the perpetrator is most often based on the words used or actions taken during the crime. A person does not need to be a member of the social group being targeted by the perpetrator to be the victim of a hate crime and their identity or other characteristics do not need to align with the perpetrator's perceptions. A perpetrator can also show prejudice against multiple social groups as part of the same crime.

In 35% of race aggravated hate crimes, the words used or actions taken by the perpetrator suggested an anti-black prejudice. As noted above, in these crimes the victim does not necessarily need to self-identify as black and in some cases they may have been targeted simply because the perpetrator perceived them to be from a non-white ethnic minority.

In 26% of hate crimes the prejudice shown was towards the Pakistani community. In around one in six crimes (15%), the perpetrator made general xenophobic remarks not directed at any one group. Table 17 provides a more detailed breakdown of the prejudices shown by perpetrators when committing race-aggravated hate crimes.

More detailed analysis of victim ethnicity for race aggravated hate crime

Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British

An estimated 18% of racially aggravated hate crimes had a victim of Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British ethnicity (compared to 1% of the population in the 2011 census). This equates to around 580 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In 64% of these crimes, the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those from the Pakistani community, and in 36% of crimes it was against those who are black.

African, Caribbean or Black

An estimated 17% of racially aggravated hate crimes had a victim of African, Caribbean or Black ethnicity (compared to 1% of the population in the 2011 census). This equates to around 520 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In 83% of these crimes, the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those who are black, and in 11% of cases the prejudice took the form of general xenophobia (i.e. without reference to any specific group).

Polish or Other White

An estimated 15% of racially aggravated hate crimes had a victim of Polish or Other White ethnicity (compared to 3% of the population in the 2011 census)[13]. This equates to around 480 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In 40% of these crimes, the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those from the Polish community, and in 35% of cases the prejudice took the form of general xenophobia (i.e. without reference to any specific group).

White Scottish

An estimated 10% of racially aggravated hate crimes had a victim of White Scottish ethnicity (compared to 84% of the population in the 2011 census). This equates to around 320 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In 29% of these crimes, the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those who are black. Some of these cases related to incidents where the prejudice shown was directed towards a third party who was not present at the time and not the person who was the victim of the crime. In other cases, the victim's self-identified ethnicity did not align with the prejudice shown by the perpetrator.

In 20% of cases with a White Scottish victim, the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those who are white. For the remaining cases with a White Scottish victim (where the prejudice shown wasn't anti-black or anti-white) a diverse range of racial prejudices were shown.

Other White British

An estimated 7% of racially aggravated hate crimes had a victim of Other White British ethnicity (compared to 8% of the population in the 2011 census). This equates to around 230 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In 68% of these crimes, the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those from the English community, and in 6% of cases the prejudice took the form of general xenophobia (i.e. without reference to any specific group).

Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British

An estimated 6% of racially aggravated hate crimes had a victim of Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British ethnicity (compared to 1% of the population in the 2011 census). This equates to around 190 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In 58% of these crimes, the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those from the Pakistani community, and in 27% of crimes it was against those who are black.

Where the victim was Pakistani[14]

Representing 18% of race aggravated hate crimes, equating to 580 crimes in 2018-19

Victims

  • 76% of victims were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 38

Relationship

  • Acquaintance: 59%
  • Stranger: 33%
  • Other: 8%

Perpetrators

  • 79% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 28

Where

  • 63% of victims were working at the time of the crime.
  • 45% of crimes occurred in a Retail or Service industry
  • 35% of crimes occurred in an open space

Prejudice Shown

  • Pakistani* victims were most likely to experience anti-pakistani or anti-black prejudice.
  • Anti-Pakistani: 64%
  • Anti-Black: 36%

Where the victim was African, Caribbean or Black[15]

Representing 17% of race aggravated hate crimes, equating to 520 crimes in 2018-19.

Victims

  • 71% of victims were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 35

Relationship

  • Stranger: 57%
  • Acquaintance: 30%
  • Other: 13%

Perpetrators

  • 72% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 29

Where

  • 37% of victims were working at the time of the crime.
  • 38% of crimes occurred in an open space
  • 35% of crimes occurred in or around a Dwelling

Prejudice Shown

  • African, Caribbean or Black victims were most likely to experience anti-pakistani or anti-black prejudice.
  • Anti-Black: 83%
  • General xenophobia: 11%

Where the victim was Polish or Other White[16]

Representing 15% of race aggravated hate crimes, equating to 480 crimes in 2018-19

Victims

  • 52% of victims were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 37

Relationship

  • Stranger: 43%
  • Acquaintance: 43%
  • Other: 14%

Perpetrators

  • 55% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 33

Where

  • 35% of victims were working at the time of the crime.
  • 32% of crimes occurred in or around a Dwelling
  • 27% of crimes occurred in an open space

Prejudice Shown

  • Polish or Other white* victims were most likely to experience anti-pakistani or anti-black prejudice.
  • Anti-Polish: 40%
  • General xenophobia: 34%

Where the victim was White Scottish

Representing 10% of race aggravated hate crimes, equating to 320 crimes in 2018-19.

Victims

  • 62% of victims were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 37

Relationship

  • Acquaintance: 43%
  • Stranger: 30%
  • Other: 27%

Perpetrators

  • 62% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 29

Where

  • 33% of crimes occurred in an open space
  • 26% of victims were working at the time of the crime.
  • 28% of crimes occurred in or around a Dwelling

Prejudice Shown

  • White Scottish victims were most likely to experience anti-pakistani or anti-black prejudice.
  • Anti-White: 29%
  • Anti-Black: 20%

Where the victim was Other White British

Representing 7% of race aggravated hate crimes, equating to 230 crimes in 2018-19.

Victims

  • 57% of victims were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 40

Relationship

  • Acquaintance: 49%
  • Stranger: 42%
  • Other: 9%

Perpetrators

  • 77% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 36

Where

  • 34% of crimes occurred in an open space
  • 25% of crimes occurred in or around a Dwelling
  • 19% of victims were working at the time of the crime.

Prejudice Shown

  • Other White British* were most likely to experience anti-pakistani or anti-black prejudice.
  • Anti-English: 68%
  • General xenophobia: 6%

Where the victim was Indian[17]

Representing 6% of race aggravated hate crimes, equating to 190 crimes in 2018-19

Victims

  • 73% of victims were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 37

Relationship

  • Stranger: 71%
  • Acquaintance: 16%
  • Other: 13%

Perpetrators

  • 72% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 29

Where

  • 69% of victims were working at the time of the crime.
  • 56% of crimes occurred in a Retail or Service industry
  • 27% of crimes occurred in an open space

Prejudice Shown

  • Indian* were most likely to experience anti-pakistani or anti-black prejudice.
  • Anti-Pakistani: 58%
  • Anti-Black: 27%

Religion aggravated crime

What proportion of victims were working at the time of the crime?

Over a quarter of religion aggravated hate crime victims (28% of cases) experienced the incident at their place of work or whilst undertaking duties as part of their occupation (Table 8). The other 71% were not at their place of work or undertaking work-related duties. Where victims were working, they were generally in either Retail and service industries or Other areas, each of which represented 11% of all victims.

What was the age and gender of victims, and how did they know the perpetrator?

Most religion aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of victims, representing almost three-fifths (57%) of crimes. The average age of a victim was 38 years old (Table 9).

In around half of these crimes (49%), the victim did not know the perpetrator, with a further 29% involving a perpetrator who was an acquaintance (Table 10).

What was the ethnicity of victims?

Where information was available on the ethnicity of victims, over half (or 58%) of religion aggravated hate crimes had a victim of White Scottish ethnicity (Table 15). The second largest ethnic group was Other Ethnic Group (7% of victims) followed by 6% for Other White British and 5% each for Other White, Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British and Arab, Arab Scottish or Arab British. All other ethnic groups accounted for the remaining 14% of victims.

Where did the crimes happen and how were they reported to the police?

A third of religion aggravated hate crimes (33%) occurred in an Open space, followed by in and around a Dwelling (22%) (Table 11). In 14% of crimes, the victim and the perpetrator were not in the same location. Less than one in ten (8%) crimes specifically involved the use of cyber-enabled technologies (Table 12).

The majority of religion aggravated hate crimes were reported to the police by the victim (69%) (Table 13). This splits into 65% which were reported by the victim directly and 4% which were reported on behalf of the victim (including parents, teachers, carers or employers). In a further 24% of cases, the crime was reported by a witness.

What was the age, gender and ethnicity of perpetrators?

The majority of religion aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of perpetrators, representing over four fifths (85%) of crimes (Table 14). The average age of a perpetrator was 39 years old.

Where information was available on the ethnicity of perpetrators, over four in five (or 82%) of religion aggravated hate crimes had a perpetrator of White Scottish ethnicity (Table 16). The second largest ethnic group was Other White British (8% of perpetrators). All other ethnic groups accounted for the remaining 10% of perpetrators.

When committing religiously aggravated hate crimes, what prejudices were shown by perpetrators?

The information provided below on the prejudice shown by the perpetrator is most often based on the words used or actions taken during the crime. A person does not need to be a member of the social group being targeted by the perpetrator to be the victim of a hate crime and their identity or other characteristics do not need to align with the perpetrator's perceptions. A perpetrator can also show prejudice against multiple social groups as part of the same crime.

In two-fifths (42%) of religion aggravated hate crimes, the perpetrator showed prejudice towards the Catholic community, which equates to an estimated 150 crimes (Table 17). In over a quarter of crimes (26%), the perpetrator showed prejudice towards the Muslim community, equating to around 90 crimes. In around one in ten crimes (12%), the perpetrator showed prejudice towards the Protestant community, equating to around 40 crimes.

More detailed analysis of the prejudices shown by perpetrators for religion aggravated hate crime

Where the perpetrator showed prejudice towards the Catholic community

In two-fifths of religion aggravated hate crimes the perpetrator showed a prejudice towards the Catholic community (42%). This equates to around 150 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. The majority of these crimes involved a victim and perpetrator who were male, of a similar average age (43 years old for both) and of White Scottish ethnicity (85% and 83% respectively).

Where the perpetrator showed prejudice towards the Muslim community

In over a quarter of religion aggravated hate crimes the perpetrator showed a prejudice towards the Muslim community (26%). This equates to around 90 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. The majority of these crimes involved a victim and perpetrator who were male, of a similar average age (33 and 34 years old respectively) and where the victim did not know the perpetrator. While the majority of perpetrators in these cases were of White Scottish ethnicity (57%) victims came from a wider range of ethnic groups.

Where prejudice was shown towards the Catholic community

Representing 42% of religion aggravated hate crimes, equating to 150 crimes in 2018-19.

Victims

  • 57% of victims were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 43

Relationship

  • Stranger: 38%
  • Acquaintance: 37%
  • Other: 25%

Perpetrators

  • 90% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 44

Where

  • 29% of crimes occurred in or around a Dwelling
  • 23% of crimes occurred in an open space

Working

  • 29% of victims were working at the time of the crime.

Where prejudice was shown towards the Muslim community

Representing 26% of religion aggravated hate crimes, equating to 90 crimes in 2018-19 .

Victims

  • 52% of victims were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 33

Relationship

  • Stranger: 63%
  • Acquaintance: 15%
  • Other: 22%

Perpetrators

  • 87% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 34

Where

  • 44% of crimes occurred in or around a Dwelling
  • 26% of crimes occurred in an open space

Working

  • 28% of victims were working at the time of the crime.

Sexual orientation aggravated crime

What proportion of victims were working at the time of the crime?

Just over a fifth of sexual orientation aggravated hate crime victims experienced the incident at their place of work or whilst undertaking duties as part of their occupation (21% of cases) (Table 8). The other 77% were not at their place of work or undertaking work-related duties. Where victims were working, most were in Retail and service related industries, representing 50% of victims in work.

What was the age and gender of victims, and how did they know the perpetrator?

Over two-thirds of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of victims (68%) (Table 9). Crimes with a female or all female group of victims accounted for 26%. Further analysis on the characteristics of these crimes by victim gender is provided below. The average age of a victim was 30 years old.

In over two-fifths of these crimes (43%), the victim and perpetrator were acquaintances. In a further 39% of cases, the victim did not know the perpetrator (Table 10).

What was the ethnicity of victims?

Where information was available on the ethnicity of victims, three-quarters (or 75%) of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes had a victim of White Scottish ethnicity (Table 15). The second largest ethnic group was Other White British (13% of victims) followed by 6% for Other White. All other ethnic groups accounted for the remaining 6% of victims.

Where did the crimes happen and how were they reported to the police?

29% of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes occurred in an Open space, followed by in and around a Dwelling (26%) (Table 11). In 13% of crimes, the victim and perpetrator were not in the same location. This category includes cases that involved the use of cyber-enabled technologies, accounting for around one-in-ten (or 9%) of sexual orientation aggravated hate crime.

The vast majority of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes were reported to the police by the victim (85%) (Table 13). This breaks down into 69% which were reported by the victim directly and 16% which were reported by someone on behalf of the victim (including parents, teachers, carers or employers). In 10% of cases, the crime was reported by a witness.

What was the age, gender and ethnicity of perpetrators?

The majority of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of perpetrators, representing around four fifths (81%) of crimes (Table 14). The average age of a perpetrator was 29 years old.

Where information was available on the ethnicity of perpetrators, more than four in five (or 83%) of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes had a perpetrator of White Scottish ethnicity (Table 16). The second largest ethnic group was Other White British (9% of perpetrators). All other ethnic groups accounted for the remaining 8% of perpetrators.

When committing sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes, what prejudices were shown by perpetrators?

The information provided below on the prejudice shown by the perpetrator is most often based on the words used or actions taken during the crime. A person does not need to be a member of the social group being targeted by the perpetrator, to be the victim of a hate crime and their identity or other characteristics do not need to align with the perpetrator's perceptions. A perpetrator can also show prejudice against multiple social groups as part of the same crime.

In the vast majority (94%) of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes, the perpetrator showed prejudice towards the gay and lesbian community (Table 17). This includes over two-thirds (69%) of crimes where the words used or actions taken by the perpetrator showed a prejudice towards the gay community, with a further quarter (25%) showing prejudice towards the lesbian community. In the small number of remaining cases, perpetrators either made remarks that targeted other groups, or were not directed at any specific community. A further breakdown of these cases isn't possible given the infrequency with which they were found within the sample.

More detailed analysis of sexual orientation aggravated hate crime by gender of victim

Male or all male group

Over two-thirds of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of victims (68%) This equates to around 490 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In almost all cases (98%), the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those from the gay community.

Female or all female Group

26% of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes had a female or all female group of victims. This equates to around 190 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In the vast majority of cases (89%), the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those from the lesbian community.

Where the victim was male or an all male group

Representing 68% of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes, equating to 490 crimes in 2018-19.

Victims

  • Almost all victims experienced prejudice against the gay community
  • Average age: 29

Relationship

  • Acquaintance: 44%
  • Stranger: 41%
  • Other: 15%

Perpetrators

  • 81% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 29

Where

  • 32% of crimes occurred in an open space
  • 23% of crimes occurred in or around a Dwelling

Working

  • 21% of victims were working at the time of the crime.

Where the victim was female or an all female group

Representing 26% of sexual orientation aggravated hate crimes, equating to 190 crimes in 2018-19 .

Victims

  • Almost all victims (89%) were victims of anti-lesbian prejudice.
  • Average age: 31

Relationship

  • Acquaintance: 41%
  • Stranger: 36%
  • Other: 23%

Perpetrators

  • 80% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 28

Where

  • 30% of crimes occurred in or around a Dwelling
  • 27% of crimes occurred in an open space

Working

  • 20% of victims were working at the time of the crime.

Transgender identity aggravated crime

What proportion of victims were working at the time of the crime?

Fewer than one in ten transgender identity aggravated hate crime victims experienced the incident at their place of work or whilst undertaking duties as part of their occupation (8%) (Table 8). The vast majority of victims (92%) were not at their place of work or undertaking work-related duties.

What was the age and gender of victims, and how did they know the perpetrator?

Over half of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes had a female or all female group of victims (55%) (Table 9). Crimes with a male or all male group of victims accounted for 37%. The average age of a victim was 26 years old.

In just under half of crimes (46%), the victim and perpetrator were acquaintances, with a further 34% of crimes involving a perpetrator not known to the victim (Table 10).

Where did the crimes happen and how were they reported to the police?

Over a third of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes (35%) occurred in an Open space, followed by those crimes where the victim and perpetrator were not in the same location (28%) (Table 11). 17% of crimes occurred in and around a Dwelling. Over a quarter (27%) of crimes specifically involved the use of cyber-enabled technologies (Table 12).

The vast majority of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes were reported to the police by the victim (85%) (Table 13). This breaks down into 75% which were reported by the victim directly and 10% which were reported by someone on behalf of the victim (including parents, teachers, carers or employers). In a further 7% of cases, the crime was reported by a witness.

What was the age, gender and ethnicity of perpetrators?

The majority of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of perpetrators, representing around three quarters (76%) of crimes (Table 14). The average age of a perpetrator was 22 years old.

Where information was available on the ethnicity of perpetrators, around three in four (or 76%) of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes had a perpetrator of White Scottish ethnicity (Table 16). The second largest ethnic group was Other White British (19% of perpetrators). All other ethnic groups accounted for the remaining 5% of perpetrators.

When committing transgender identity aggravated hate crimes, what prejudices were shown by perpetrators?

The information provided below on the prejudice shown by the perpetrator is most often based on the words used or actions taken during the crime. A person does not need to be a member of the social group being targeted by the perpetrator to be the victim of a hate crime and their identity or other characteristics do not need to align with the perpetrator's perceptions. A perpetrator can also show prejudice against multiple social groups as part of the same crime.

In the vast majority (85%) of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes, the perpetrator showed prejudice towards those from the transgender community (based on the words used, actions taken or perceptions of the victim) (Table 17). In the small number of remaining cases, perpetrators either made remarks that targeted other groups, or were not directed at any specific community. A further breakdown of these cases isn't possible given the infrequency with which they were found within the sample.

More detailed analysis of transgender identity aggravated hate crime by gender of victim

Female or all female group

Over half of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes had a female or all female group of victims (55%). This equates to around 50 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In almost all cases (86%), the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those from the transgender community.

Male or all male group

Over a third of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes had a male or all male group of victims (37%). This equates to around 30 crimes recorded by the police in 2018-19. In 79% of those cases, the prejudice shown by the perpetrator was against those from the transgender community.

Where the victim was female or an all female group

Representing 55% of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes, equating to 50 crimes in 2018-19 .

Victims

  • Almost all victims were victims of prejudice against the transgender community
  • Average age: 27

Relationship

  • Acquaintance: 49%
  • Stranger: 39%
  • Other: 12%

Perpetrators

  • 82% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 19

Where

  • 27% of crimes occurred in an open space
  • 27% of crimes involved the victim and perpetrator in different locations

Working

  • 6% of victims were working at the time of the crime.

Where the victim was male or an all male group

Representing 37% of transgender identity aggravated hate crimes, equating to 30 crimes in 2018-19.

Victims

  • Almost all victims were victims of prejudice against the transgender community
  • Average age: 22

Relationship

  • Acquaintance: 35%
  • Stranger: 32%
  • Other: 33%

Perpetrators

  • 63% of perpetrators were male or an all male group
  • Average age: 24

Where

  • 50% of crimes occurred in an open space
  • 32% of crimes involved the victim and perpetrator in different locations

Working

  • 12% of victims were working at the time of the crime.

Police officer victims of hate crime

As outlined in the Summary of recorded hate crimes section, in an estimated one in five (or 1,080) hate crimes recorded in 2018-19, the victim was a police officer in the line of duty.

Table 2 below provides an estimate of the volume of hate crime with a police officer victim by hate aggravation. Sexual orientation and religion aggravated hate crimes had the largest proportion of cases where the victim was a police officer (at 39% and 32% respectively). Whilst relatively fewer race aggravated hate crimes had a police officer victim (13%), they accounted for the largest volume of these cases – given race accounts for 67% of all hate crime in 2018-19.

Table 2. Proportion of crimes with a police officer victim and estimated volume of crimes by hate aggravation.
Aggravation % of crimes Estimated volume1
All hate crimes 19% 1,080
Disability 15% 40
Race 13% 490
Religion 32% 150
Sexual orientation 39% 460
Transgender identity * *

1. The estimated volume for each aggravator will not total that for all hate crime as any individual crime could include one or more aggravators.

Where did the crimes happen?

Around half (49%) of these crimes occurred in a Police facility, including police stations and police vehicles (Table 11). A further 25% happened in an Open space and around one in ten each occurred in another Public Sector setting or in or around a Dwelling (10% each).

What was the age, gender and ethnicity of perpetrators?

Where at least one perpetrator was identified the vast majority were male or an all male group, representing almost nine in ten (87%) cases (Table 14). The average age of a perpetrator was 28 years old.

Where information was available on the ethnicity of perpetrators, three quarters (or 75%) of hate crimes with a police officer victim had a perpetrator of White Scottish ethnicity. The second largest ethnic group was Other White British (12% of perpetrators). All other ethnic groups accounted for the remaining 12% of perpetrators.

What prejudice was experienced by police officers?

The information provided below on the prejudice shown by the perpetrator is most often based on the words used or actions taken during the crime. A person (or in these cases a police officer) does not need to be a member of the social group being targeted by the perpetrator to be the victim of a hate crime and their identity or other characteristics do not need to align with the perpetrator's perceptions. A perpetrator can also show prejudice against multiple social groups as part of the same crime.

Crimes in which the victim was a police officer were generally aggravated by either race (43% of crimes) or sexual orientation (40%). Around one in ten (13%) were for religion and less than one in twenty (4%) were disability aggravated.

Looking at the prejudices shown, in almost half of hate crimes experienced by police officers (45%), the perpetrator showed a prejudice towards the gay and lesbian community, this equates to around 480 crimes.

In over one in ten crimes, the perpetrator showed prejudice toward either the Pakistani community or those that are Black (13% and 12% respectively). This equates to an estimated 140 crimes with anti-Pakistani prejudice and 130 crimes with anti-Black prejudice.

In less than one in ten crimes, the perpetrator showed prejudice toward the Irish and Catholic communities (8% for each), equating to 90 and 80 crimes respectively.

Table 3. Proportion and estimated volume of crimes with a police officer by the prejudice shown by the perpetrator
Prejudice shown % of crimes1 Estimated volume
Against the Gay and lesbian community 45% 480
Anti-Pakistani 13% 140
Anti-Black 12% 130
Anti-Irish 8% 90
Anti-Catholic 8% 80

1. It is important to note that as part of any individual hate crime, the perpetrator can show prejudice towards more than one community.

Where the victim of the crime was a Police officer

Representing 19% of hate aggravated crimes, equating to 1,080 crimes in 2018-19.

Perpetrators

  • 87% involved a male or an all male group of perpetrators
  • Average age: 28

Prejudice

  • The most common prejudice shown by perpetrators towards police officers was against the lesbian and gay community, representing 45% of crimes with a police officer victim.

Where

  • 49% of crimes occurred in a Police facility
  • 25% of crimes occurred in an Open space

Contact

Email: JusticeAnalysts@gov.scot

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