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Rise in racist incidents

New figures show that the number of racist incidents recorded by the police in Scotland has increased from 4,911 in 2010-11 to 5,389 in 2011-12. The Minister for Community Safety, Roseanna Cunningham, has described the ten percent increase as ‘disappointing’.

Other findings include:

• There were 6,472 crimes recorded as part of a racist incident in 2011-12, an increase of 5% on the 6,173 recorded in 2010-11.

• Of those who were victims of a racist incident, 34% were aged 26 to 35 years, compared to 13% who were aged 20 or under (where age and gender was known). Males were more likely to be a victim of a racist incident (17 per 10,000 population) than females (6 per 10,000 population).

• In 2011-12, where ethnic origin of the victim was known, 44% of victims were of Asian origin (which comprises Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese or other Asian), the largest group being Pakistani (23%). The second largest ethnic group of victims of racist incidents in 2011-12 was White British.

• In 2011-12, 40% of perpetrators of racist incidents were aged 20 or under (where age and gender was known).

“I am very disappointed to see an increase in the number of racist incidents recorded by police,” said Ms Cunningham. “It is all the more disheartening given the downward trend observed in recent years. However, we know that this is not always due to an increased number of crimes taking place, but can instead be attributed to individuals and communities being better engaged with the police and having more confidence to report perpetrators of such crimes, and that when reporting a crime their complaint will be taken seriously.”