Scottish Government
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Racist incidents fall by 14 per cent

Minister comments on Racist Incidents in Scotland statistics.

New figures which show a 14 per cent fall in racist incidents recorded by the police and a three percentage point increase in the clear up rate in racist crimes have been welcomed by the Minister for Community Safety.

Today’s Racist Incidents in Scotland statistics for 2012-13, which present the latest figures on racist incidents recorded by Scotland’s eight legacy police forces, show that the number of incidents recorded by the police has decreased from 5,389 to 4,628 – down 14 per cent. At the same time, the clear up rate has risen from 68 to 71 per cent.

Roseanna Cunningham welcomed today’s improving figures but warned that work must continue to tackle racism in all its forms and in all walks of life in Scotland.

She said: “I welcome the fact that racist incidents have decreased quite considerably in the last year and that the decrease is in line with the general downward trend of recent years. I also welcome the increase in the clear up rate, which is testament to the hard work of our police officers.

“However, with 4,628 incidents still recorded in 2012-13, there can be no let-up in our efforts to tackle racism in all forms and all walks of life. Racism is completely unacceptable and we cannot allow the actions of a minority to spoil this country’s reputation as a warm, welcoming, tolerant nation where diversity is valued.

“That’s why we are supporting a range of projects in communities such as the BME Young People Equally Connected project which aims to promote choice, opportunities and wellbeing and increase democratic engagement, and the Young People Against Hate project which works with young people in three of the most deprived areas of Edinburgh to raise awareness about the impact of hate crime on their communities. We are also providing more than £8 million for work to address race equality between 2012 – 2015.”

The fall in racist incidents recorded was also welcomed by the Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC.

He said: “The decreasing trend generally is welcomed but I too would warn against complacency.

“It was interesting to note that many of the racists incidents recorded were committed in the street on a Friday and Saturday night. It is my view that many racially motivated offences are linked to social disorder and this is a cause for concern for law enforcement.

“The Scottish prosecution service has a zero tolerance approach for any hate crime and I would urge the public to continue to report all such offences to the police. They can have the confidence that crimes of racial hatred, bigotry and prejudice will be investigated carefully and sensitively and prosecuted robustly”.

Notes to editors

The full statistical bulletin Racist Incidents in Scotland 2012-13, can be accessed via the following link:

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