Publication - Minutes

Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group minutes: November 2017

Published: 4 Aug 2021
Part of:
Law and order
Date of meeting: 29 Nov 2017
Location: Committee Room 6, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 29 November 2017.

Published:
4 Aug 2021
Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Action Group minutes: November 2017

Attendees and apologies

Attendance:

  • Chair: Angela Constance, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Scottish Government 
  • [redacted] (attending on behalf of [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], [redacted], Equality Network
  • [redacted], [redacted], Respectme
  • [redacted], (attending on behalf of [redated], [redacted]), Glasgow Disability Alliance 

Official support:

  • [redacted], Cohesive Communities, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Cohesive Communities, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Cohesive Communities, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Health and Wellbeing (education), Scottish Government

Apologies:

  • [redacted], Interfaith Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Cabinet Secretary welcomed attendees and thanked them for accepting the invitation to be part of the group which will take forward the recommendations made by Dr Morrow’s Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion. She felt that the Group should be focused on action, and that the title of the group should reflect this.

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities team to consider appropriate title of group going forward

Terms of reference

The Cabinet Secretary invited comments on the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) which set out the scope, outcomes and deliverables for this group.

It was agreed that the draft ToR cannot be exhaustive in terms of policy areas and strategies but it should include the Equally Safe strategy to tackle violence against women and girls. It should also reference the Year of Young People 2018 given that offers an appropriate focus for the work of the group in 2018. The group also agreed that it would be helpful to include timeframes for the work of the group as well as highlight priority areas for action.

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities team to share revised ToR for sign off ahead of the next meeting

Tackling prejudice and building connected communities action plan

The Cabinet Secretary suggested two options for the group going forward: the first is that any updates to the action plan are highlighted in a paper for future meetings where there will be a standing agenda item on the action plan as a whole; and the second is that meetings focus on specific aspects of the action plan. The group agreed with the latter, as a thematic approach would be more effective to ensure delivery. It was suggested that the group could use Dr Morrow’s report as a template which grouped together actions under different themes, and focus on a specific theme at each meeting.  

The group then moved on to discuss what issues/actions should be made a priority. The Cabinet Secretary indicated that it would be helpful to have an update on evaluation of the recent ‘Hate Has no Home in Scotland’ campaign. 

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities team to provide an update on the ‘Hate Has no Home in Scotland’ campaign evaluation

[redacted] suggested that the group should prioritise actions that focus on under reporting, going on to say that it is understood the reasons why people under report – so we now need to focus on addressing these barriers. [redacted] added that if we are to look at increasing reporting we also need to focus on ensuring that the infrastructure is sufficient to handle expected increases, including third party reporting centres. The Cabinet Secretary asked what the main concerns around third party reporting were, to which Brian answered that more clarity is needed around their role as well as Police Scotland’s commitment to support capacity building within them. [redacted] added that third party reporting needs are different for each characteristic as not all find it as accessible – particularly the LGBTI community as only 1 out of 8 reports are from that group.

[redacted] agreed that under reporting should be a priority area for the group and that the group should look at under reporting across Scotland, increase awareness of what hate crime is and also ensure that the response to reports are positive. [redacted] added that the group also needs to prioritise considering definitions and terminology, linking to Lord Bracadale’s work, as Dr Morrow specifically raised this as an important issue. [redacted] went on to say that it is important to first define the language before we progress work in other areas. 

The Cabinet Secretary agreed that definitions and terminology and the recommendations made by Lord Bracadale should be made a priority and indicated that she is meeting the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs and Lord Bracadale on 20 December where she hopes to get an indication of his emerging thinking. 

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities team to arrange for an update on Lord Bracadale’s work

[redacted] suggested that the group focus on community cohesion including developing our understanding of what this means in practice. He also suggested the group consider hate crime in the workplace as there is currently a lack of evidence around this.

[redacted] added that she wants to ensure that the group doesn’t lose focus on what is already available, to ensure that work is not duplicated and that existing resources are utilised. The Cabinet Secretary provided assurance that the group would not look to duplicate existing work but that is important for the group to be informed by it.

[redacted] provided an update on the recently published ‘Respect for All: The National Approach to anti-bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People’ which includes detail on how to deal with instances of hate crime where these go beyond bullying behaviours. Respect for All aims to encourage a proactive and inclusive approach to anti–bullying policy and developing preventative measures to tackle behaviour. A working group to develop approaches to recording and monitoring will now be convened and [redacted] is happy to provide the link between these two groups.  

[redacted] added that youth work also focuses on early intervention and prevention and provided their Action on Prejudice work as an example – welcoming Scottish Government funding for this work. She added that the bystander part of the recent ‘Hate Has no Home in Scotland’ camping was helpful and asked that the group think about how we work with young people to ensure they take safe, appropriate action to challenge hateful behaviours. [redacted] updated the group on the Mentors in Violence Prevention programme which focuses on gender based violence and bullying – she highlighted that advocates for one issue can easily become advocates for another. 

[redacted] raised some questions about action 21 (develop our approach to gathering evidence around hate crime, and bring forward a new hate crime publication later in 2017) as he found existing data difficult to analyse and has concerns about how the data was grouped together. [redacted] updated the group on the on-going work around hate crime data which provided reassurance that these issues are being considered and that going forward it should be easier to disaggregate data and analyse trends across the country. [redacted] highlighted that there was clearly an appetite for more data to be collected both nationally and locally and that consideration is currently being given to a new publication on hate crime data. He assured the group that the approach would be developed in partnership with stakeholders.

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities team to provide an update on the on-going hate crime data work

In summary, the Cabinet Secretary proposed that at the future meeting the group prioritises:
the ‘Hate Has No home In Scotland’ campaign next steps, 

  • under reporting (following the production of a paper gathering thoughts on this issue)
  • third party reporting
  • definitions and terminology
  • hate crime in the workplace
  • and hate crime data

The Cabinet Secretary asked that a work plan for 2018 is created for the next meeting.

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities team to draft paper on under reporting, including evidence, issues and action
  • Cohesive Communities team to draft 2018 work plan

Next steps

The next meeting will be held in February 2018.

Action:

  • Cohesive Communities team to organise date and venue for next meeting

Summary of actions 

  • Cohesive Communities team to consider appropriate title of group going forward
  • Cohesive Communities team to share revised ToR for sign off ahead of the next meeting
  • Cohesive Communities team to provide an update on the ‘Hate Has no Home in Scotland’ campaign evaluation
  • Cohesive Communities team to arrange for an update on Lord Bracadale’s work
  • Cohesive Communities team to provide an update on the on-going hate crime data work
  • Cohesive Communities team to draft paper on under reporting, including evidence, issues and action
  • Cohesive Communities team to draft 2018 work plan
  • Cohesive Communities team to organise date and venue for next meeting

Cohesive Communities Team
December 2017