A 14 per cent fall in racist incidents has recorded by the police when figures for 2012/13 are compared with the previous year, the Scottish Government said today.
In 2012-13, a total of 4,628 racist incidents were recorded by the police in Scotland, compared with the 5,389 racist incidents recorded in 2011-12.
The figures were welcomed by Community Safety minister Roseanna Cunningham, who was also encouraged to report that the clean up rate for racist crimes has increase from 68 per cent to 71 per cent.
But Ms Cunningham also warned against complacency saying the 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.”