Understanding extremism in Scotland: public perceptions and experiences

Findings from research exploring public understandings and experiences of extremism in Scotland.


1. The research with stakeholders was carried out with predominantly senior-level representatives of organisations that have direct involvement in Prevent in Scotland, or significant interest in Prevent or extremism in Scotland more generally.

2. The research with public sector practitioners was carried out with frontline professionals working in sectors which have a statutory obligation to fulfil the Prevent duty (local authorities, health and social care, education, prisons, and the police).

3. The margin of error refers to the range of values above and below the actual survey result that we can be sure the views of the public will lie between. For example, if 50% of the sample surveyed strongly agree with a statement, a 2% margin of error means that we can be sure that between 48% to 52% of the general population strongly agree with the same statement.

4. Scottish Parliament Regions boundary map

5. 'I' indicates 'Interview' and 'FG' indicates 'Focus Group'. See Appendix C for more information on the 26 qualitative participants.

6. In practice this means in order to consider an incident for inclusion in the GTD, all three of the following attributes must be present: (1) the incident must be intentional, i.e. the result of a conscious calculation on the part of a perpetrator; (2) the incident must entail some level of violence or immediate threat of violence; including property violence as well as violence against people; (3) the perpetrators of the incidents must be subnational actors (meaning the database does not include acts of state terrorism).

7. The term 'Islamist extremism' is UK Government terminology (Home Office, 2018) that is also adopted in Scotland.

8. The incel community is comprised of individuals who feel rejected by women – and arguably society more generally – and turn to the Internet to voice their anger, and often, desire for revenge (Regehr, 2022).

9. The Public Sector Equality Duty and Equality Impact Assessments


Email: SVT@gov.scot

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