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

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 26 September 2018.

Attendees and apologies

In attendance:

  • Chair: Aileen Campbell, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], [redacted], BEMIS
  • [redacted], [redacted], CEMVO
  • [redacted], [redacted], COPFS
  • [redacted], [redacted], COPFS
  • [redacted], [redacted], COSLA
  • [redacted], [redacted], Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • [redacted], [redacted], Interfaith Scotland
  • [redacted], [redacted], Police Scotland
  • [redacted], [redacted], Police Scotland
  • [redacted], [redacted], Scottish Trans Alliance
  • [redacted], [redacted], YouthLink Scotland

Official support

  • Robert Marshall, Deputy Director, Connected Communities, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Connected Communities, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Cohesive Communities, Scottish Government
  • [redacted], Cohesive Communities, Scottish Government


  • [redacted], [redacted], Glasgow Disability Alliance
  • [redacted], [redacted], Interfaith Scotland
  • [redacted], [redacted], Respectme

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Cabinet Secretary welcomed everyone to the fourth meeting of the Action Group and as the first with her new role as Chair. The Cabinet Secretary thanked members for their contribution to date and explained that she looked forward to working with members as we take forward this ambitious programme of work to tackle hate crime and build community cohesion. 

Minutes of previous meeting

The group agreed the minutes from the previous meeting with no amendments.

Action group member updates

 The Cabinet Secretary asked each member to give a short update on current priorities.

Interfaith Scotland

  • currently working towards hosting National Holocaust Memorial Day in Scotland in January 2019 and working with the Scottish Government to plan for the interfaith Summit in November 2018
  • continuing to deliver interfaith education programmes in schools across Scotland and building good relations through interfaith dialogue 
  • Interfaith Scotland are concerned with the rise in anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti- Catholic abuse as well as the lack of religious literacy, and inaccurate media reporting surrounding religion


  • COPFS have a robust prosecution policy on hate crime and aim to ensure that communities are aware that they take hate crime seriously
  • publish an annual publication of hate crime statistics
  • focus on providing support for victims including through their victim information and advice service

Equality and Human Rights Commission

  • hate crime is a priority within their 2016 – 2019 strategy. A new strategy is being formulated for 2019 – 2022
  • is Scotland Fairer? will be published in October 2018 and will inform their evidence base going forward

Police Scotland

  • hate crime continues to be a priority and Police Scotland continue to work with partners to review the effectiveness of Third Party Reporting
  • Police Scotland has worked closely with the Scottish Government to help support the new hate crime campaign. Police Scotland will also be supporting the UK National Hate Crime awareness week in October 2018. Police Scotland will launch their own hate crime campaign in February 2019

COSLA are focused on working with local government on early intervention and prevention through education. Highlighted importance of GIRFEC to deal with prejudice based bullying in schools. 

Education Scotland

  • highlighted that education provides a key opportunity to tackle hate crime and prejudice. They are currently working with the Scottish Government to update guidance on recording and monitoring of bullying in schools
  • Mentors in Violence Prevention is being rolled out by Education Scotland in 25 local authorities
  • Education Scotland has worked with Police Scotland to deliver two awareness sessions this year on hate crime and third party reporting 


  • working towards the BEMIS and Police Scotland joint conference on hate crime to take place on 31 October. Lord Bracadale and Mr Yousaf will both give keynote addresses and Action Group members are invited to attend
  • BEMIS recognise the significant value of embedding the Year of Young People into their events
  • concern about the possible repeal of Section 50A following Lord Bracadale’s review


  • CEMVO and CRER working together to engage with communities around possible repeal of Section 50A 
  • highlighted importance of data collection and the need for more collaboration between Police Scotland and COPFS 

Equality Network

  • concern that one hate crime strategy does not work for all characteristics 
  • eager to see the creation of a separate category of hate crime for intersex and extension of Section 50A for the trans community 
  • shares concern on the impotence data collection. Believes further work needed to ensure COPFS and PS are aligned

YouthLink Scotland

  • focused on promoting Action on Prejudice and developing a hate crime prevention toolkit for peer educators using existing activities and resources 
  • developing training on Inclusive Youth Work alongside European partners through the European project, All In
  • running the Equalities in Youth Work Steering Group and other national programmes such as Action on Sectarianism and No Knives Better Lives

The Cabinet Secretary thanked the group for their contributions and asked the group to consider how we can most effectively capture the key concerns and tackle them as a group. She explained that this meeting will go on to cover hate crime data and the work to develop a new hate crime bill in response to recommendations made by Lord Bracadale. 

[redacted] asked that education also be discussed at this meeting. He expressed a concern that better consistency is needed in the delivery of hate crime education and that the Scottish Government needs to do more to support this. The Cabinet Secretary asked what specifically is needed to change within education. [redacted] suggested inclusive education is what is needed and part of this includes inclusive images in textbooks. [redacted] added capacity building among teachers and breaking down unconscious bias is also needed. [redacted] asked if the Scottish Government can instruct schools to use specific materials and the Cabinet Secretary explained that there is no set curriculum but perhaps we can consider how it is presented to schools. She went on to say that is it not just schools, but also youth work and youth clubs as well. 

Hate crime campaign 2018

Cabinet Secretary updated the group on the Scottish Government’s hate crime campaign which is to be formally launched following this meeting in partnership with Police Scotland. She encouraged the group to engage with the campaign and to use the hash tag #ReportHate to promote it 

The group highlighted that the hate crime campaign conflicted with October school holidays as well as the national Hate Crime Awareness week. Police Scotland have already highlighted this to their colleagues in England who are responsible for running HCAW. They advised that the timing of HCAW cannot currently be changed however they will continue these discussions.

Lord Bracadale update 

[redacted] updated the group on the engagement undertaken so far in relation to Lord Bracadale’s review. She explained that, during the summer months, Connected Communities engaged with a number of key stakeholders on Lord Bracadale’s report and recommendations. As well as identifying areas that are supported, this helped identify areas of concern and/or complexity to ensure these are explored further though the consultation. 

[redacted] went on to explain that a 14 week public consultation will be launched in November to develop the detail of what will be included in the new hate crime bill.  This will not replicate the consultation that was undertaken by Lord Bracadale, but will focus specifically on the recommendations and findings from his review. [redacted] added that consultation events will be held across the country and asked members to consider how they might take forward their own engagement events during the pubic consultation. 

Hate crime data update

[redacted] updated the group on the new Scottish Government and Police Scotland hate crime data publication. She explained that Scottish Government statisticians have been working with Police Scotland to investigate the viability of using Police Scotland’s Interim Vulnerable Persons Database as a sustainable source of information on hate incidents recorded by the police. The work is nearly complete and the report is due to publish later in 2018. It is intended that this will include information on hate related incidents with a race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity element, along with information on the associated crimes, victims and perpetrators. 


  • Cohesive Communities to share publication date once agreed. (Please note: publication has been delayed and will publish early 2019)

AOB and date of next meeting

The Cabinet Secretary thanked members for their contributions. The date of the next meeting will be shared with the group shortly. 

Connected Communities 
September 2018

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