The Scottish Government today warned against complacency in the wake of new figures revealing the number of racist incidents recorded by police forces across Scotland has fallen for a fourth consecutive year.
According to figures released by Scotland’s Chief Statistician this morning, 4,907 such incidents were recorded in 2010-11, a one per cent drop on the previous year and eight per cent down on 5,322 incidents in 2006-07.
Three of Scotland’s eight police forces – Central, Grampian and Fife – witnessed a year-on-year increase in the number of recorded incidents, albeit a revamp of Fife police force systems increasing the accuracy of data collection has been pinpointed as part of the latter’s steep rise from 139 to 205 racial incidents in the space of twelve months.
Around three quarters (74 per cent) of perpetrators in 2010-11 were referred to the Procurator Fiscal or Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA), with almost half (46 per cent) of those responsible for racist incidents aged 20 or under.
A total of 6,169 crimes were recorded as part of a racist incident in 2010-11, a five per cent fall compared to the previous year and the lowest level in six years.
Any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person forms the basis of the figures, which were today welcomed by Minister for Community Safety, Roseanna Cunningham, with the caveat that efforts to eradicate hate crime cannot ease up as a result.
Cunnigham said: ” “Hatred of any kind has no place in modern Scotland and we need to do everything we can to stop it wherever and whenever it occurs, whilst tackling the root causes.
“Along with tough enforcement through record numbers of police officers on our streets, community engagement and education is driving home the message that there is no place for racism of any kind in Scotland.
“While these figures show a decrease in incidents in 2010-11, we cannot be complacent, particularly as we saw new prosecution figures being published last month which show an increase in racist charges this year.
“That is why we must continue with the work we are doing to tackle racism and hatred in all its forms whilst constantly looking at new ways of getting across the message to the next generation of young Scots.
“We need to say loud and clear that these outdated attitudes are not acceptable and never will be, whilst educating them about the importance of tolerance and respect.”