Let’s talk about…Hate Crime & Equalities

The Scottish Government, following Lord Bracadale’s review published in 2018 have committed to modernising hate crime legislation in Scotland.

Discrimination and hate crime continues to be an issue in Scotland with between 6,600 and 7,000 hate crimes recorded by Police Scotland each year, however it remains a hidden problem with the majority of incidents going unreported. Dundee is a vibrant and dynamic city, yet hate still exists. Understanding the levels of prejudice and discrimination and the form they take is key to tackling these issues.

Hate crime requires society to make a stand against it.  This event will give people knowledge about hate crime, how to recognise it and how to report it.  We are encouraging people to acknowledge that hate exists and giving them the confidence to contribute to tackle it. Discrimination and hate crime cannot be solved by one organisation.

Join us in Dundee on Tuesday 21st April 2020 to increase your awareness of the impact of hate crime, discuss partnership responses to hate crime including supporting victims and consider approaches to prevent hate crime.

Hosted and sponsored by the Scottish Community Safety Network and Dundee Community Safety Partnership 

Venue: The Steeple, Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DG

Time: 10am – 3.45pm (registration from 9.30am)

Date: 21st April 2020

Cost: FREE but we are expecting a lot of interest in this event. We will therefore be operating a process of registration and then will be in touch if you’ve secured a place. Register your interest by emailing info@scsn.org.uk.

Context

In January 2017, the Scottish Government appointed Lord Bracadale to carry out an independent review of Scottish hate crime legislation to whether existing hate crime law represents the most effective approach for the justice system to deal with criminal conduct motivated by hatred, malice, ill-will or prejudice.

The review involved evidence gathering and a public consultation exercise. Its findings and recommendations were published in May 2018 and made a number of recommendations on legislation. Lord Bracadale also commended the practical measures being taken to coordinate the response to reporting, preventing and responding to hate crimes and encouraged practitioners to be aware of and learn from developments in the provision of restorative justice and diversion from prosecution services.

Following Lord Bracadale’s review, the Scottish Government committed to consolidating and modernising hate crime legislation in Scotland.

Since 2014-15, the number of hate crimes recorded by the police in Scotland has fluctuated between 6,600 and 7,000 (to the nearest 100). The police recorded 6,736 hate crimes in 2017-18 (as recorded on the Scotland’s Interim Vulnerable Persons Database (IVPD))1. In 2018-19 there were 4,914 hate crime charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland.

According to both sources, racial hate crime is the most prevalent (58% of the charges reported and 67% from Police Scotland figures) followed by sexual orientation.

Awareness and concerns about under-reporting are important when considering these figures: a national barometer report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2018 found 42% of people in Britain said they had experienced some form of prejudice in the last 12 months. In Scotland, one in 12 adults reported that they had experienced discrimination and one in 17 had experienced harassment in the last 12 months (from the Scottish Household Survey published 2018).

In 2015 the Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) Survey published a report on attitudes to discrimination and positive action. Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) were of the view that ‘Scotland should do everything it can to get rid of all kinds of prejudice’. A substantial minority – one in five (22%) – were, however, of the opinion that ‘sometimes there is good reason for people to be prejudiced against certain groups’. Views on the acceptability of prejudice remained fairly consistent between 2002 and 2010 but between 2010 and 2015 there has been a small, but significant, decline in the proportion of people who thought this from 28% to 22% in 2015.

SSA has shown that those who express more positive views about diversity are less likely than others to find prejudice acceptable in any form. In 2015 nearly half (47%) said that they would prefer to live with different kinds of people, an increase of ten percentage points since 2010. The EHRC found people in Scotland held less prejudiced views than the other countries in the UK but prejudice and discrimination remained an issue.

How you’ll benefit:

  • At this seminar you’ll increase your awareness of hate crime – understanding of national picture and local – and why it’s an important issue
  • Consider approaches to reporting hate crime and some of the skills needed to deal with hate crime
  • Debate how the authorities can best deal with hate crime
  • Discuss partnership approaches to preventing hate crime and promoting inclusion and diversity/equalities

Discussion at the seminar will inform a short learning report that will be shared by the Scottish Community Safety Network and Dundee hate incident partnership and contribute to developing partnership approaches to improve equalities and support responses to hate crime.

We are looking forward to seeing you at our event in April. Please register your interest and email info@scsn.org.uk with any questions.