Publication - Minutes

Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group minutes: March 2018

Published: 4 Aug 2021
Part of:
Law and order
Date of meeting: 14 Mar 2018
Location: St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 14 March 2018.

Published:
4 Aug 2021
Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group minutes: March 2018

Attendees and apologies

Attendance:

  • Chair: Angela Constance, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Scottish Government 
  • [redacted], [redacted], Police Scotland 
  • [redacted], [redacted], Police Scotland
  • [redacted], [redacted], Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)
  • [redacted], [redacted], Education Scotland
  • [redacted], [redacted], YouthLink Scotland
  • [redacted], [redacted], Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • [redacted], [redacted], Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • [redacted], [redacted], BEMIS attending on behalf of [redacted]
  • [redacted], [redacted], Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO)
  • [redacted], (attending on behalf of [redacted], [redacted]), Glasgow Disability Alliance 

Official support:

  • Robert Marshall, Connected Communities Deputy Director, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Cohesive Communities, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Cohesive Communities, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Health and Wellbeing (education), Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Communications – Marketing, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Communications – Strategy and Insight, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Communications – Marketing, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Safer Communities Analytical Unit, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Safer Communities Analytical Unit, Scottish Government

Apologies:

  • [redacted], Equality Network
  • [redacted], Respectme

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Cabinet Secretary welcomed attendees and thanked them for attending the second meeting of the group. She noted the recent establishment of the Cross Party Working Group on Islamophobia and Mhairi Black’s speech on misogyny and the relevance of these issues to the work of this group. 

Minutes of previous meeting and approval of finalised TOR

Both the minutes and TOR were agreed by the group.

Agreement of 2018 work plan 

The Cabinet Secretary asked the group to consider the work plan, highlighting the importance of providing focus and structure. She explained that it will remain a living document. 

[redacted] suggested that work around the National Approach to anti-bullying is added to the work plan. He also suggested that the workstream looking at hate crime in the workplace involve other stakeholders in addition to the STUC such as umbrella organisations and intermediaries. 

Action:

  • Learning Directorate to liaise with Cohesive Communities to update work plan to include work around the National Approach

[redacted] suggested that the work to update the National Performance Framework should be referenced as this highlights opportunities to share good practice around creating inclusive national identities. [redacted] also added that it is important to recognise schools and young people and that the key early intervention and prevention. [redacted] added that the Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill focuses on not criminalising young people which is important to highlight. He also suggested that we build awareness through the Year of Young People. 

[redacted] updated the group on free training Interfaith Scotland are proving for people working with children and young people on recognising and responding to hate speech. 

Action:

  • Interfaith Scotland to share flyer on the hate speech workshops for youth workers with Cohesive Communities who will circulate to Group

Update on campaigns 

[redacted] updated the group on Police Scotland’s hate crime campaign which is launching on Friday 16 March. He explained that the campaign will be social media lead with a focus on education and influencing offender behaviour, with particular emphasis on 11-16 year olds as they feature frequently as both victims and perpetrators. He added that School Liaison Officers across Scotland are being tasked to deliver hate crime awareness inputs during the campaign period using supporting material provided by the national Safer Communities Department. In addition, six schools are taking part in a competition to create a graphic to portray a hate crime message, with the winning entry being used across social media channels to support the campaign.

[redacted] asked if the data regarding 11-16 year olds as being one of the highest groups of victims and perpetrators of hate crime could be broken down by geographical region. [redacted] responded to say that she will look into it.

Action:

  • Police Scotland to look into whether the data on 11-16 year olds can be broken down by region and liaise with CEMVO

[redacted] went on to talk about the annual Hate Crime Awareness Week (HCAW) which is nationally recognised in October each year and supported by Police Scotland and numerous other partners. He explained that there is a roundtable event for key stakeholders being held in London on 26 March 2018, to commence planning for HCAW 2018. Police Scotland is attending this event and will feed back and update the wider group.

Action:

  • Police Scotland to provide an update following their attendance at the annual Hate Crime Awareness Week meeting in London

[redacted] added that there are materials available for primary school children produced by I Am Me to raise awareness of disability hate crime. 

Subsequent discussion focussed on campaigns aimed at young people. Robert Marshall suggested that the Children’s Hearings Improvement Partnership (CHIP) would be aware of any work being done/lessons learned in this area and indicated he would ensure those links were made and any relevant information passed to the group

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities team to have a discussion with CHIP around what links can be made in regards to campaigns and lessons learned

The Cabinet Secretary thanked Police Scotland for their update and welcomed the Scottish Government’s Marketing Insights team.  [redacted] delivered a presentation on the evaluation of the recent ‘Hate Has No Home in Scotland’ campaign which ran from 13 October for 6 weeks and aimed to raise awareness of what hate crime is and encourage both victims and witnessed to report it.  

[redacted] began by explaining the target audience as C2DE social demographic as this group have been identified as most likely to be exposed to hate crime. [redacted] then went through the evaluation which included a slight increase in ‘any’ understanding of what hate crime is from 82% to 85%, explaining that it would be difficult to get this any higher when the initial claimed knowledge was already high.  She also explained that the campaign was particularly successful for those who have been exposed to hate crime and that this group were also more likely to have been reached by the campaign. In addition, 81% said they would take action (including talking to someone or seek more information) if they witnessed hate crime but only 62% said they would report it (increase from 60%). There was also evidence to suggest that females and 35-54 year olds were most motivated by the campaign. 48% of those who responded to the post wave survey said that they have taken action as a result of seeing the campaign with 24% claiming to have reported one.  

[redacted] explained that the campaign performed well considering the overall scale and spend. [redacted] recommended that for future campaign activity the focus should be narrowed as the campaign became complex with multiple objectives. [redacted] also suggested that we look to target the campaign more specifically i.e. among young people. 

[redacted] asked what the C2DE definition was. [redacted] answered that it is linked to employment and income levels and is one of the categories used to buy media. [redacted] suggested that we need to be careful of the interpretation of hate crime being a social economic issue. The Cabinet Secretary explained that we had to consider who is more likely to be a victim and [redacted] added that we needed to target due to budget and used the information available. 

[redacted] expressed surprise at the claimed level of action in response to the campaign and asked if we can look at evidence of this. [redacted] explained that they will work to get figures from Police Scotland but it often takes time to see any statistical changes and they don’t always correlate with campaign activity. 

[redacted] went on to suggest that future campaigns should focus on witnesses of hate crime. [redacted] explained that the Mentors in Violence Prevention programme uses a bystander approach and could help with future campaigns. [redacted] agreed that it was important to encourage witnesses to report and raise awareness among this group, highlighting the societal responsibility. 

[redacted] asked if the Scottish Government campaign evaluation can be shared with Police Scotland to help inform their future planned activity.

Action:

  • SG Marketing to share campaign evaluation results with Police Scotland 

The Cabinet Secretary asked marketing what their top three recommendations for a future campaign would be. They replied that there should be a focus on one age group, fewer messages and a clear call to action.  

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities to consider further campaign activity 

Update on work to improve hate crime data collection

[redacted] and [redacted] provided an update on work to produce new information on hate-related incidents recorded by the police. [redacted] explained that there are several established sources of information on hate crime in Scotland, though they tend to focus on activity that is ‘down-stream’ within the Justice System (i.e. charges raised with Crown, convictions etc.). By focusing on hate incidents reported to the police – a broader measure of hate-related activity may be possible going forward. This would offer potential for a sustainable source of detailed information on hate-related activities, as the data would be drawn from an established administrative database. 

[redacted] went on to update the group on plans for a new publication on police recorded incidents with a hate element (likely to be produced in summer 2018). This will include  (i) the current landscape of information on hate-related activities, (ii) a report on the collaborative work undertaken by SG Statisticians and PS analysts to review the process of collating data on hate-related incidents, (iii) statistics on the number of hate-related incidents recorded by the police in recent years (including a likely break-down for  race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity) and (iv) consideration of next steps for developing this product going forward. [redacted] explained that this report would capture a much broader measure of hate-related activity than our existing sources - as not all hate related incidents necessarily include the recording of a crime, and not all hate crimes include a charge being raised with the Crown – for example where the offender hasn’t been identified by the authorities.

[redacted] highlighted COPFS concerns about being unable to see whether a report came from a disabled person where it wasn’t a hate crime. [redacted] explained that this is not possible due to the way information is currently captured within Police Scotland’s systems. [redacted] added that crimes that have not met the hate element aren’t recorded and therefore we can’t reassure the disabled community that we are prosecuting crimes committed against disabled people. [redacted] added that Glasgow Disability Alliance’s Hate Crime Disability Working Group are also considering data issues including gathering data and the need for accurate data to measure effectiveness. 

Action:

  • Glasgow Disability Alliance to provide an update on the work of the Hate Crime Disability Working Group

The Cabinet Secretary asked if we need legislative change or a system change to address these data issues and the group agreed it was a systems change. [redacted] added that officers will record a significant amount of information on victim characteristics when dealing with incidents, but there is difficulty in extrapolating this into readily usable statistics (for example whether the victim is disabled). [redacted] suggested that if there were particular proposals around examining certain victim characteristics for certain types of crimes - then his area would be happy to offer advice around practicalities and resource implications.

[redacted] added that there is also an issue with grouping victims with no further breakdown provided other than the main characteristics (for example, it would be helpful to know whether incidents under the race category were Polish, Gypsy/Travellers etc). [redacted] added that there are limitations with breaking data down further and there is not an easy solution, however potential improvements to the VPD are being explored which may help with this. 

Presentation on Police Scotland’s work on third party reporting centres

[redacted] updated the group on the work Police Scotland are undertaking in relation to third party reporting centres. [redacted] explained that they have recently reviewed the effectiveness of third party reporting centres across Scotland and are currently implementing an improvement plan which includes measuring effectiveness. A short life working group has been established to assist with this, with their initial meeting being held in November 2017. She went on to explain that all existing third party reporting centres (approx. 400) were contacted to inform them of the on-going work which highlighted some challenges including lack of trained staff. Therefore arrangements have been made for officers in each local policing division to deliver training to the centres, using guidance for consistency. [redacted] added that activity monitoring forms have been introduced and will be completed every time a third party reporting centre offers support in relation to hate crime. This information will be collected nationally on a quarterly basis which will make it easier to monitor effectiveness and performance. [redacted] added that Police Scotland are keen that efforts continue to ensure that the third party reporting process is promoted better in the future, with improved advertising and signposting. Police Scotland are aware that the on-going work may result in a reduced number of centres, however they believe it’s necessary to focus on quality of service, rather than quantity of centres.

[redacted] suggested that Police Scotland engage with third party reporting centres as part of this review as they have influence over how reports are made to the police. [redacted] advised that a small number of centres are represented on the short life working group which Police Scotland have established, however said she would welcome further suggestions for wider engagement.

Action:

  • Police Scotland to discuss with Glasgow Disability Alliance how they might engage third party reporting centres in the implementation of the improvement plan 

[redacted] asked how many third party reporting centre reports result in prosecutions and [redacted] answered that Police Scotland don’t hold this data. [redacted] went on to say that many reports to third party reporting centres don’t meet criminal threshold and still go to police, taking time and resource. [redacted] suggests that this group could look at how we can do something differently in regards to third party reporting to make it more effective. [redacted] explained that third party reporting was designed to make it easier to report, however agreed that a lot of lower level incidents come in from centres that are not criminal. [redacted] went on to suggest that there doesn’t always need to be police intervention and often a more appropriate route could be through other organisations.

The Cabinet Secretary suggested a need for third party reporting to bridge into justice system but asked how we make it better, what in the infrastructure is missing that would make a difference? She also asked how we ensure consistency. 

[redacted] suggested that third party reporting centres should convey messages to staff on the purpose of third party reporting i.e. not to get prosecution but to provide intelligence on nature and prevalence of hate crime. [redacted] explained that at the moment, all reports from third party reporting centres go directly to the police. [redacted] suggested centres could be marketed differently – not as reporting centres, but as support centres where reporting to police would only form part of their role. The Cabinet Secretary agreed the group should consider this. [redacted] suggested a meeting could be set up to consider what the pathway looks like and what different support is available.  

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities to engage with Police Scotland and other Group members with an interest to look at the third party reporting process

[redacted] suggested we could record crime reported by communities and not focus on hate crime element which would help get the message out that there is support for disabled people. [redacted] responded that it is more about normalisation that stops disabled people from reporting, and that there is not a high concern about reporting process or the police and COPFS response. 

Discussion on underreporting

The Cabinet Secretary asked the group to turn their attention to the paper on under reporting. [redacted] said that he found the paper useful and that it accurately reflected the under reporting issues faced by disabled people. [redacted] explained that Glasgow Disability Alliance have worked to look at how to improve reporting among disabled people and that this overlaps with the discussions around third party reporting. [redacted] suggested the use of hate crime ambassadors or champions. 

The Cabinet Secretary asked if we know enough about barriers to reporting and the group agreed that we do. [redacted] suggested there needs to be focus on support services as opposed to barriers. [redacted] added that normalisation within faith communities is very common and particularly with Muslim women. He added that there is a perception that when witnesses do not act in response to a hate crime, that they may share the views of the perpetrator. 

[redacted]  updated the group that there will be a COPFS report published in the coming weeks that looks at progress made in regards to access to justice and barriers faced by disabled people. She added that COPFS equality leads in criminal justice are considering their priorities for this year where their focus has been on disability for the past few years. COFPS will also consider workforce and recruitment and plan to engage with schools to encourage careers in criminal justice.

Action:

  • COPFS to update on priorities and to share access to justice report once published 

The Cabinet Secretary suggested that we put emphasis on how we can promote and support third party reporting. She asked the group to consider what additional steps can be taken and to think about what we are not doing that we could do. 

The group agreed that there is a lot of commonality among groups. It was suggested that Lord Bracadale’s recommendations will be a helpful catalyst to determine what our next steps will be and inform further discussions. [redacted] suggested we could look to make recommendations as a group. The Cabinet Secretary then suggested we can revisit this discussion following Lord Bracadale’s report however the group should not rely solely on his review as the issues go much wider than his remit.

[redacted] asked whether we should consider a similar reporting mechanism to the text service used on trains when you witness drunk and disorderly behaviour. [redacted] responded by explaining the difficulty in adding texting as a method to contact police as it would need to be wider than just hate crime. The Cabinet Secretary said it was an interesting suggestion and asked if Transport Scotland and Police Scotland could look into this.

Action:

  • Transport Scotland and Police Scotland to give consideration to reporting methods for hate crime witnessed on public transport  

[redacted] updated the group on work Edinburgh Council are doing to create a public transport charter working with disabled people’s organisations and suggested a fuller update if provided at the next meeting.  

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities to arrange an update from Transport Scotland at the next meeting 

AOB and date of next meeting

The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that the date of next meeting will be 6 June 2018, 10-12pm at St Andrew’s House.

The Cabinet Secretary suggested we focus on Lord Bracadale findings, provide an update on hate crime and public transport and a further update on under reporting and third party reporting.

Actions

  • Learning Directorate to update work plan to include work around the Nation Approach - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • Interfaith Scotland to share flyer on the hate speech workshops for youth workers with Cohesive Communities who will circulate to Group - 14-Mar-2018 - Open
  • Police Scotland to look into whether the data on 11-16 year olds can be broken down by region and liaise with CEMVO - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • Police Scotland to provide an update following their attendance at the annual Hate Crime Awareness Week meeting in London - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • Cohesive Communities team to have a discussion with CHIP around what links can be made in regards to campaigns and lessons learned - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • SG Marketing to share campaign evaluation results with Police Scotland - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • Cohesive Communities to consider further campaign activity - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • Glasgow Disability Alliance to provide an update on the work of the Hate Crime Disability Working Group - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • Police Scotland to discuss with Glasgow Disability Alliance how they might engage third party reporting centres in the implementation of the improvement plan - 14 -Mar-2018 - open
  • Cohesive Communities to engage with Police Scotland and other Group members with an interest to look at the third party reporting process - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • COPFS to update on priorities and to share access to justice report once published - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • Transport Scotland and Police Scotland to give consideration to reporting methods for hate crime witnessed on public transport - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • Cohesive Communities to arrange an update from Transport Scotland at the next meeting - 14-Mar-2018 - open
  • Cohesive Communities team to consider appropriate title of group going forward - 29-Nov-2017 - complete
  • Cohesive Communities team to share revised ToR for sign off ahead of the next meeting - 29-Nov-2017 - complete
  • Cohesive Communities team to provide an update on the ‘Hate Has no Home in Scotland’ campaign evaluation - 29-Nov-2017 - complete
  • Cohesive Communities team to arrange for an update on Lord Bracadale’s work - 29-Nov-2017 - open
  • Cohesive Communities team to provide an update on the on-going hate crime data work - 29-Nov-2017 - complete
  • Cohesive Communities team to draft paper on under reporting, including evidence, issues and action - 29-Nov-2017 - complete
  • Cohesive Communities team to draft 2018 work plan - 29-Nov-2017 - complete

Cohesive Communities Team
April 2018