Racial abuse

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experts claim that anti-English sentiments are “driving the rise” in racial abuse offences (your report, 12 December), and English police officers serving in Scotland have been subjected to this. Could alcohol and crass stupidity be factors here?

Some of these statistics can perhaps be explained by the increase in the number of English people, including police officers, living in Scotland compared with, say, ten years ago, but “racial” abuse of any kind is unacceptable in Scotland at any time.

One thing is certain though – offer it to a police officer and a charge and fine, rightly, is likely to be the result, which may inflate the “race crime” figures.

In this context, your Letters page of 13 December is revealing. Your correspondents Brian Allan and Graham M McLeod both, disgracefully, accuse the SNP of “anti-English bitterness” without any evidence (there is none), under your own clever but maybe irresponsible sub-heading “Scots Wha Hate”. I have to say that I have never experienced “hate” like that increasingly being expressed by individuals and red-top/saloon bar opponents of independence.

In particular, the First Minister’s name often provokes the most foam-flecked nastiness. That is in large part, no doubt, because of his achievements and success, but God help us if this is the level of political “debate” we are in for.

The Yes campaign is, I trust, bracing itself.

David Roche

Alder Grove

Scone, Perthshire